Some police officers at the National Police Headquarters in Lilongwe have accused the new Inspector General of Police Lot Dzonzi of reducing them to mere ground workers by asking them to do manual work twice a week.
The general cleaning exercise does not spare anybody. Officers wear overalls on Tuesday and Wednesday morning and do chores that include slashing, mopping and filling potholes in the surrounding. The exercise has extended to all station officers.
“We have ground workers who perform such jobs. But we are asked to take slashers and brooms to clean the surrounding. How can a commissioner, who is at the rank of Principal Secretary, or deputy commissioner, who is at the rank of Deputy Principal Secretary in government, be reduced to a mere ground worker? What is the role of the employed ground workers?” queried an officer who sounded bitter.
The officer said the cleaning exercise takes place on Tuesday and Wednesday from 7.30am to 12 noon. The officer said the exercise at first covered the whole day until officers complained.
“We converge at the ground, wear overalls and share tasks. Are we primary school pupils? Officers are bitter with this kind of development. Instead of doing our key duties, we are spending time on a job that can be done by other people who are also employed to do the same.
â€œInstead of putting our efforts to fight the increasing crime, we are busy slashing, sweeping and mopping and filling potholes at stations. What is that?” he said.
National police spokesperson Davie Chingwalu confirmed the development but justified it, saying the exercise is also stipulated in the Police Standing Orders.
Chingwalu said the exercise is done to reduce fatigue.
“Every trained police officer knows fatigue. At the training college, we are trained to be smart so that when officers go to police stations, they should keep their homes and stations clean. It is not anything new,” said Chingwalu.
Chingwalu said officers have to do the cleaning exercise as police cannot employ people to do everything.