Government has redeployed Chief Immigration Officer Masauko Medi back to mainstream Malawi Police Service (MPS), barely a year after his appointment by President Peter Mutharika.
But government officials have remained mum on why Medi has been, with Chief Secretary to Government George Mkondiwa pushing the issue to Information Minister Jappie Mhango, who could also not give any reason.
Instead, Mhango said the redeployment meant there was that necessity, adding that Medi’s deputy automatically took over in acting capacity.
Medi, who was Senior Deputy Commissioner of Police responsible for community policing and rural patrol based at Police Headquarters in Lilongwe before his appointment as Immigration chief, replaced Hudson Mankhwala in July 2012.
Like Medi, there were no reasons given by Mutharika’s administration when redeploying Mankhwala who had been appointed by former president Joyce Banda.
Mankhwala was moved from Immigration to head the Refugees Unit in the and Internal Security.Ministry of Home Affairs
Mhango, who is also the official government spokesperson, said Medi was heading back to police at the same grade.
He emphasised that there were no official reasons for Medi’s removal, insisting that government moves around its officers as and when it deems fit.
Mhango said: “Reasons could be many. It could be possible that there was need for his services in police, but I cannot exactly say what the official reason was, but when government makes changes, it means there is necessity to do so.”
Sources within the department said Medi sent a farewell message to his colleagues, informing them that it pleased government to redeploy him back to police.
He reportedly thanked his colleagues for their support during his stay at Immigration from February 2015.
Medi declared when he appeared before Parliament’s Budget and Finance Committee in August 2015 that corruption was rampant at his department and that several officers were facing criminal charges.
He told the committee that his department, which was also facing efficiency and effectiveness was owing its supplier of books and other materials about $13 million (about K7.1 billion at the current exchange in August 2015).
He repeated this challenge to clear the K7.1 billion debt last December during the department’s end-of-year party at College of Medicine Sports Complex in Blantyre.
Police in recent past have arrested local and foreign nationals in relation to passport fraud activities. n