The Malawi Police Service (MPS) yesterday said they had no ready answer on the court ruling which orders them to reinstate the withdrawn security detail from Vice-President Saulosi Chilima.
On Friday night, Justice Chirwa granted an order of permission to the Vice-President’s attorney to apply for judicial review on the decision of MPS to withdraw some of the security personnel from the Vice-President. Essentially, the order also restrains MPS from implementing their decision.
“It is hereby ordered as follows; permission to commence Judicial Review is hereby granted. A stay order be and is hereby made restraining the respondents from implementing or maintaining their decisions
- a) Reducing the number of police mobile officers guarding at the official residence of the Vice-President of Malawi in Lilongwe and Blantyre;
- b) Transferring police officers that are working at the said residence to Police Mobile Force Division Headquarters and;
- c) Withdrawing some of the motor vehicles assigned to the office of Vice-President of the Republic of Malawi, pending the hearing an inter-partes application for the stay order” reads the court order.”
But asked if they had been served with the order, in a telephone interview, Inspector General of Police Rodney Jose said he had not received a copy yet, asking for more time, while the National Police public relations officer James Kadadzera simply said: “I have no ready answer as at now”.
Vice-President Chilima, who now is leading a newly found political grouping— United Transformation Movement (UTM)— is running a sour relationship with his boss President Peter Mutharika and the Democratic Progressive Party which he openly accused of corruption during the launch of the movement at Masintha ground in Lilongwe last Saturday.
The withdraw of about 46 police officers and vehicles from the Veep’s security detail has been perceived by some as a deliberate move by government to punish the country’s Citizen Number Two-turned government critic.
Last Friday, five Cabinet ministers, Bright Msaka (Education), Samuel Tembenu (Justice and Constitutional Affairs), Henry Mussa (Trade and Industry), Nicholas Dausi (Information) and Goodall Gondwe (Finance), who led the team, held a joint press briefing in Lilongwe aimed at discrediting the Veep’s remarks at Masintha.
As we went to press, the Vice-President’s press officer Pilirani Phiri asked for more time to establish if the police had complied with the court order.