Former Malawi Defence Force (MDF) Commander General Vincent Nundwe says the decision to deploy soldiers to support Malawi Police Service in ensuring internal peace and security remains the President’s prerogative.
Nundwe, who President Mutharika fired alongside his deputy Colonel Clement Namangale on March 17 this year, made the remarks in an interview yesterday at MDF Headquarters in Lilongwe on the sidelines of the handover of the Sword of Command to the newly appointed Commander General Peter Andrew Namathanga.
Nundwe, who served as MDF Commander for nine months, said deploying soldiers is not the responsibility of any incumbent commander but it is a decision of the State President in his capacity as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.
He said: “So, as long as the Commander in-Chief thinks soldiers should continue supporting the police, they will continue supporting them because those operations we carried out were meant to support the police.”
Nundwe said he has left MDF, after 42 years of service, as a happy person because he did what the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi required him to do to protect the country’s sovereignty and to guard its citizens.
He said: “Those are security matters. So as State House we say no comment to that. You may write whatever you want but we do not have any comment.”
Nundwe urged Namathanga to be professional in discharging his duties.
Speaking in a separate interview, Namathanga, who once worked under Nundwe as platoon commanders, said his administration will be governed by the Constitution and that he will ensure MDF performs its functions in the interest of Malawians.
He said: “What I can tell Malawians is that the MDF mission has not changed, vision has not changed, and values have not changed. So, we shall continue discharging our duties within the framework of the Constitution.
“Basically, the police take care of the internal security of this nation. Where they need the help of MDF, we are always ready to do that within the framework of the Constitution.”
But in an interview yesterday, presidential press secretary Mgeme Kalirani said he could not comment on whether President Peter Mutharika will maintain his order that MDF soldiers should keep providing security during demonstrations as those are security matters.