Malawi Government was on Friday taken unawares by the resignation of Inspector General (IG) of Police Paul Kanyama, Transport and Public Works Minister Francis Kasaila said.
Kasaila, who had earlier passionately campaigned for Kanyama’s confirmation in Parliament, said government had no idea about Kanyama’s intentions to resign.
The minister said he would have to check if the former IG had formally informed the appointing authority, President Peter Mutharika, about the resignation.
Kanyama announced his sudden resignation at a news briefing citing health grounds.
The former IG, who joined the Malawi Police Service in 1978, was due for retirement in February next year and had already collected part of his retirement package, according to Parliament reports.
Speaking in an exclusive interview after the news briefing where he had announced his sudden retirement, Kanyama said being IG is one of the toughest jobs in the country “because you get pressure from all angles.”
“I have decided to retire because my sugar levels were rising almost every day. I was diagnosed with BP [high blood pressure] in 2008 and I was managing the disease very well.
“But since I assumed this office, this disease has been giving me problems. In fact, yesterday I could have collapsed and my wife and other family members advised me that it is in my best interest just to quit,” he said.
Kanyama said the office of the IG faces a lot of pressure because of the complexity of policing in a global village.
As Kanyama was announcing his resignation, Parliament was deliberating on his suitability for the post.
Kanyama said he will now concentrate on farming.
“I am a farmer and I will continue farming. I am not going to my village but I am happy that I rose to the position of IG and I do not take it for granted. I want to urge the media to give total support to the police because this job is tough,” he said.
Kanyama was appointed deputy IG in June 2014 and in November the same year he rose to the position of IG and vowed to deal with crime, saying the honeymoon was over.