Malawi Police Service have arrested two former state house security officers in Mzuzu over the weekend on suspicion that the two were involved in a spate of armed robberies.
Commentators have however warned of more rot and worsening insecurity in the country due to the unethical behavior of such cops who might have dubiously made their way into the country’s security organ.
The two, Micheck Makweza, aged 30 years and Wyck Njolomole, aged 28 years, both of the Police Mobile Services’ D Company, on June 4, masterminded a robbery at the Northern Region Water Board offices where they made away with K260, 000 and three mobile phones.
Northern Region Police spokesperson Peter Kalaya confirmed the arrests and said the two are being remanded at the Mzuzu Prison after their first court appearance on Saturday.
“We were investigating a series of robberies that had taken place within the city, and the names of the two officers came up that they were among the seven-member gang which has been terrorising various companies,” said Kalaya.
Using a Suzuki Vehicle registration number MJ 485 on Thursday night, the men in uniform together with their five accomplices, are said to have also terrorised Safintra Steel Limited at Luwinga where they the attacked watchmen on duty.
Social commentator Moses Mkandawire has described the incident is cause for worry, and called on authorities to take out politics from the recruitment procedure which he said is creating a leeway for criminals into the security system.
“Since 1994, there has been no proper screening on the historical background of people who want to work in the police. Politicians simply give directives on who should be admitted into the police academies, so these are the consequences. If security personnel perpetrate crimes then no one is safe,” he said.
“Imagine these guys were entrusted with the life of our head of state at one particular time, and yet they are capable of doing terrible things. So this should really raise questions on how safe the president or our ministers are around these officers,” he queried.
Mkandawire, then advised government to consider revising conditions of service for police officers and workplace motivations as one way of minimizing the incidences.
But Head of security studies at the Mzuzu University Brigadier Misheck Chirwa thinks the surge in the crime incidents by police officers might just be a symptom of a bigger problem and thus called for thorough inquiry into the matter.
“These things have not started today; they have been there for some time. They could be symptoms of a problem lying elsewhere. May be its inconsistencies in recruitment or a matter of individual personality traits but all that needs to be research based,” Chirwa observed.
The other five suspects are Isaac Phiri, aged 32 years, Andrew Banda aged 28 years, 32-year-old, Yusuf Simute aged 32 years, Blessings Phiri aged 35 years and 21-year-old Laston Balala.
According to the Malawi Police Service Act any officer answering criminal charges faces immediate interdiction and is dismissed once convicted.-The Daily Times