Malawi Police Service has reshuffled the security detail of President Peter Mutharika following the transfer of 23 officers from State Residences to district police postings with immediate effect, but with no indication of replacements.
National Police spokesperson James Kadadzera confirmed the transfer of police officers from Kamuzu Palace and Mtunthama Residence in Lilongwe as well as Sanjika Palace in Blantyre.
He described the transfers as normal and disputed assertions that the changes were prompted by the ugly scenes in Ndirande Township in Blantyre on Thursday when unidentified people pelted the police lead vehicle (sweeper) on the President’s motorcade with stones.
Kadadzera said police officers take an oath to work anywhere in the country; hence, the removal of the affected officers from State Residences to beef up security in other places where there is need for security strengthening.
He said: “Those who have been transferred did not begin their work at State Residences. They were not even born there. This is the reason management thought it wise to transfer them to somewhere else.”
The transfers have affected 19 at Kamuzu Palace, one at Mtunthama Residence and four at Sanjika Palace.
Four police sources confided in The Nation that the transfers were due to the pelting of the presidential convoy in Ndirande on Thursday evening.
A Police Mobile Service B-Company OFFICER in Blantyre said some of those transferred were faulted for allegedly not sensing security threats as the President paraded in Blantyre.
But political commentator Humphreys Mvula observed that such transfers were multifaceted and that reasons include the desire for sitting Presidents to have A trusted security force.
Estranged Vice-President Saulos Chilima also had his security detail transferred to remote areas in the run-up to the disputed May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections whose presidential race faces a court-sanctioned fresh poll on July 2.