Malawi Defence Force (MDF) Commander General Vincent Nundwe has said the army will maintain high professional standards, including political neutrality.
The MDF chief spoke after receiving the MDF sword of command from his predecessor General Griffin Spoon Phiri (retired) at a ceremony at Kamuzu Barracks parade ground in Lilongwe.
The event formally marked Nundwe’s inauguration as the MDF in-charge after his appointment by President Peter Mutharika, in his capacity as Commander-in-Chief of armed forces, on June 21. Spoon Phiri was reassigned the new role of national security adviser to the President.
Said Nundwe: “We need to train hard to fight easy. MDF will continue discharging its duties in a constitutional way. We need to do things the way they are supposed to be done, without political interference.”
After inspecting a colourful parade, Spoon Phiri, who was accompanied by his wife Mary and an aide, wished Nundwe success in his work.
He said: “General Nundwe is an experienced soldier. I do not need to give him any advice. But what I want to say is that soldiers are not politicians. ”
Nundwe is the 13th MDF commander.
Dignitaries who witnessed the ceremony included British High Commissioner Holy Tett, Deputy Minister of Defence Chipiliro Mpinganjira, Minister of Homeland Security Nicholas Dausi, Inspector General of Police Rodney Jose and former MDF commander General Henry Odillo (retired). The MDF has been pivotal in shoring up efforts by Malawi Police Service (MPS) in maintaining law and order during a series of ongoing post-election demonstrations nationwide.