Retiring Malawi Police Service (MPS) Inspector General (IG) Lexten Kachama has broken the silence on his replacement, stating that he has gone on leave pending his retirement in June this year.
In a telephone interview in Lilongwe yesterday, Kachama ruled out joining politics, but indicated that in his retirement he would venture into farming or business to support his wife.
The outgoing top cop, who is due for retirement on June 30 this year having joined MPS in 1979, said he was leaving the police service a satisfied man, having reduced incidences of crime in the country with the support of fellow officers.
Said Kachama: “I have done my best to protect the lives of Malawians and I have worked diligently. I am satisfied that I have done my part and it is time to go.”
He said he was proud that the strategies he introduced to fight crime, among them increasing mobile patrols and positioning officers at strategic points in rural and urban areas to increase police visibility, worked.
A leaked letter to Kachama from the Chief Secretary to the Government Lloyd Muhara dated February 28 2018, which The Nation has seen, indicates that the IG was directed to go on leave pending retirement because he had 36 outstanding leave days before reaching the mandatory age of 60 on June 30 2018.
However, the date of the letter coincides with social media reports last month that Kachama had retired and that he would contest as a member of Parliament (MP) on a Malawi Congress Party (MCP) ticket in the 2019 Tripartite Elections.
But during yesterday’s interview, Kachama, who was appointed IG in 2014, said politics was not the path he planned to take as others had speculated.
He said: “This is normal retirement. It is not that I have been removed or pushed out for any reason. Certainly, not for reasons that I am going to contest [as an MP]. That is not true.”
Muhara’s letter confirming Kachama’s retirement indicated that if he had taken his leave entitlement, he would have proceeded on leave pending retirement on April 1 2018.
Reads the letter: “You are, therefore, kindly advised to proceed on the said leave to exhaust your leave entitlement. You may, therefore, start winding up your official assignments that you may have been handling.”
In the letter, Muhara wished Kachama well in his future endeavours while appreciating the services rendered to the government.
Kachama has been replaced with his former deputy (operations) Rodney Jose in an acting capacity. Former deputy IG (administration) Duncan Mwapasa is now deputy IG responsible for operations while John Nyondo is now deputy IG (administration).