The unveiling of police Inspector General (IG) designate (pending parliamentary vetting) Paul Kanyama was in some ways hilarious. President Peter Mutharika and Kanyama first met when the Commander-in-Chief of the Malawi Police Service (MPS) presented himself to the latter to be arrested for alleged treason. If being arrested by Kanyama makes you win elections, please Mr. Kanyama, come and arrest me! Arrest me for alleged treason.
Former IG Loti Dzonzi will go in history as one of the distinguished men who has served the MPS well. Former IGs include Mc John Kamwana, Mac Williams Lunguzi and Joseph Aironi and the other who was absent without leave—when for 48 hours he could not be located— which prompted a high court judge ask the rhetorical question as to how it was possible that an inspector-general of police could be incommunicado for such a long time. We can be assured that Dzonzi and his well considered English never disappeared from the scene when we needed him most. We lost a chance to have a female IG when our members of Parliament rejected Mary Nangwale.
Now that we have a new man in the office, I would love to go forth to Mutharika and ask; how many departments are there in the Malawi Police Service? Mr. President, there is the Malawi Police Mobile Force (PMF) or something of that name. Where is the A company located? Where is the B company? Where is the C company? Where is the D company? What is the difference between pepper spray and tear gas? Where is the E company? When did policemen change from shorts to trousers? When did policewomen start wearing trousers in this country? When did policemen and women start conducting street patrols with guns in this country? When are you going to confer some of the women and men in uniform the accolade that Mr Kamwana got, i.e the Presidential Police Medal (PPM)? When are we painting the police houses at Kanjeza and other places? How many more police houses are we going to construct in the next five years? When is the Police Magazine going to be re-introduced? Let me also say that the MDF had a magazine called ‘Msilikali’ which is now unavailable. What happened?
There is a story that I have told before. In the 1980s a Kamuzu Academy student was killed in what appeared to be a gang-related event. In those days, the country had its own Mafia called the Commodores. The story goes on that former president Hastings Kamuzu Banda summoned Kamwana, then IG of police. Banda had two words for Kamwana: “Get them”. Within no time, the Commodores were all in jail. One wonders what was taking Kamwana this long to get the Mafioso from being a public menace.