Malawi Police Service has dismissed social media reports that it has recruited and trained governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) youth cadets, saying the assertions are propaganda to tarnish their image.
In an interview on Thursday after the police issued a statement on the issue, National Police spokesperson James Kadadzera said there are some quarters in the country that are bent on discrediting the police.
“There are people who are just disseminating propaganda news to tarnish police. This started long time ago during the campaign [in the run up to the May 21 Tripartite Elections] and it is not true. We cannot recruit cadets. We recruit people on merit,” he said.
In a joint statement released by the police and the Judiciary signed by Kadadzera and Agnes Patemba, registrar of the High Court of Malawi and Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal, the two institutions said it had come to their notice that the social media was rife with reports that DPP cadets have been trained and incorporated into the police rank and file.
The statement said the social media reports allege that DPP cadets were trained for one month at Mtakataka Police Training School in Dedza.
Reads the statement: “The stories are totally untrue and mere propaganda. The truth of the matter is that the MPS was approached by the Judiciary to train their court marshals into professional security officers.
“The 60 court marshals were trained at Mtakataka Police Training School from September 22 to October 18 2019.”
The statement said High Court Judge Sylvester Kalembera was the guest of honour at the launch of the training which was covered by mainstream media houses.
Police have come under fire for allegedly being infiltrated by partisan youth cadets purportedly to unleash terror on political opponents of the ruling elite.
The perceptions have eroded the police’s public trust which has seen them struggling to control crowds during post-election protests. Malawi Defence Force (MDF) has been saving the situation by playing the role of controlling crowds.
On Wednesday this week, British High Commissioner Holly Tett bemoaned the loss of public trust in the police service, saying it compromises service delivery.
The diplomat asked police to work on restoring its public trust.
Speaking during the ceremony where Tett spoke, Southern Region Police Commissioner of Police SladgeYoosuf said the police is working with all relevant stakeholders in building a good relationship with the public.