Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre is drilling members of the Malawi Police Service (MPS) in bringing security reforms to ensure increased accountability and professionalism in the service.
About 35 police officers are currently undergoing the two-week training session in Lilongwe as part of a series of programmes to help in reforming the MPS.
Speaking during the opening ceremony of the training at National Police Headquarters in Lilongwe’s Area 30, deputy inspector general (DIG) of police responsible for administration, Duncan Mwapasa, welcomed the course as another opportunity to turn MPS into a service that meets the demands of the public.
He said the reforms will also help the service clean up its image and eradicate cases of police officers involvement in violent crimes and corruption.
“Reforms need to be ongoing and not one-off exercise if we are to remain relevant to the public we serve. This training is coming at a right time when the whole public sector is also undergoing reforms. The public is demanding a disciplined, accountable, responsive and transparent police service,” said Mwapasa.
He applauded the centre for its continued support to MPS, saying the trainings are being conducted to fulfill specific needs of MPS.
The centre’s police course director Evelyn Agbitor said emergence of new global security threats demands that police services reform and capacitate themselves better to ensure protection of democracy on the African continent.
Hence, Agbitor said, the course was designed to also interrogate the security challenges of today.
Said Adbitor: “On reforms world over, time and time again we face one problem which is mentality; police officers prefer to look at themselves as a force and not a service, this causes the challenge of police brutality and poor public perceptions. Reforms should bring change and the public should no longer see the police as the enemy but the partner.”
In the mid-1990s, MPS had a major reform sponsored by British government soon after the dawn of the first multiparty general elections. The earlier reforms sought to give police a human face.