The body of fallen Malawi Police Service Criminal Investigations Department (CID) director Bob Mtekama was on Wednesday laid to rest at his home village Nkhono in Nkhotakota without following Covid-19 protocols.
National Police spokesperson James Kadadzera issued a statement on Monday announcing the death of Mtekama at Blantyre Adventist Hospital after testing positive for Covid-19 and with an underlying condition of diabetes.
The body of the deceased was transferred to Nkhotakota on Tuesday afternoon without the usual escort of healthcare workers as has been the case with most Covid-related deaths.
Instead, local undertakers dressed in improvised personal protective equipment took charge of the burial ceremony, which was not accorded military honours.
When asked, Kadadzera said police did not preside over the ceremony as a Covid-19 preventative measure.
He said: “We did not send our officers as a preventative measure to Covid-19. The issue of non-adherence to protocols should be handled by the Ministry of Health,” he said.
There was no comment from Nkhotakota District Hospital on the matter. But an inside source at the facility said the hospital did not receive a formal communication on the matter.
Many Malawians took to social media to express their condolences to Mtekama’s family.
On his Facebook page, Minister of Homeland Security Richard Chimwendo said Mtekama’s death was a great loss to the country owing to his great contributions to the police service.
Mtekama joined the Malawi Police Service in 1992 and before his recent appointment as head of the CID, he served as Limbe Police Station officer-in-charge.
He studied criminal law at the University of Zanzibar and was the only Malawian police officer trained in forensic science by the University of Malawi’s College of Medicine. He was also trained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the US.