Hundreds of police officers have been enlisted among vulnerable households receiving food handouts President Joyce Banda has been distributing over the past months, Weekend Nation has established.
Malawi Government and its development partners such as World Food Programme (WFP) have been donating foodstuffs to poor families to save them from malnutrition and hunger-related deaths.
However, this has raised eyebrows among people who have since questioned Banda’s motive to extend the handouts to security agents who are on government payroll.
Other commentators have even suggested that the President intends to achieve some political aspirations, especially this time when Malawi is preparing for the Tripartite Elections.
While confirming of the police appearing on the list of the President’s benevolence in an interview Thursday, presidential spokesperson, Steven Nhlane, said there is nothing sinister about the donation.
Nhlane disclosed that the donation [to the police] is aimed at cushioning ‘lowly-paid officers’.
“In fact, this is not the first time the President has donated foodstuffs to police officers. She has been doing it since last year when there were no elections,” he said, adding the request for assistance comes from the police themselves.
Political commentator associate professor Mustapha Hussein wondered why only police are benefitting from the scheme leaving out other lowly-paid civil servants such as teachers.
“Although there is no problem with government cushioning lowly-paid civil servants, such a scheme should have applied across the board,” said Hussein.