Malawi Defence Force (MDF) and the Police say they have enhanced security in borders and Lilongwe City ahead of the 41st Ordinary Summit of Southern African Development Community (Sadc) Heads of State and Government Summit.
In separate interviews yesterday, National Police spokesperson James Kadadzera and MDF spokesperson Major Kelvin Mlelemba said the two security agencies are working together, but each with specific roles.
Kadadzera said: “We are very prepared but we can’t say on some of the preparations as you know these are security matters. But we have enhanced security in the sea and land borders and increased police visibility. We are also doing patrols.
“Our aim is to reduce the fear of crime and to lessen the cases of robberies for everyone to feel safe. Actually, the climax of the security preparations will be when delegates start to arrive in the country.”
While assuring of respect for people’s rights in the enforcement, he said traffic police officers will also be increased to provide directions to motorists during the summit.
Kadadzera said the police want to clear any crime elements to make the country crime-free ahead of the summit.
He said apart from MDF, police are working with the National Intelligence Service and the Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services.
In a separate interview, Mlelemba said a special committee has since been formed to handle the Sadc preparations.
“There is a committee handling that [Sadc preparations] and what I know is that we have different tasks to conduct [together with police] apart from security aspect,” he said.
On his part, Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services spokesperson Wellington Chiponde said they are ensuring that they halt illegal immigrants.
“As you know issues of security during this time are paramount so we are playing our rightful role to curb illegal immigration because illegal immigrants pose as a security threat,” he said.
Chiponde further said the department is appealing to communities along the country’s borders to report any illegal immigrants to relevant authorities.
Malawi is scheduled to host the Sadc summit from August 9 to 18 in the capital city where President Lazarus Chakwera will assume chairmanship of the 16-member bloc for 12 months.
In an interview with The Nation last month, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Rejoice Shumba said the summit will use a hybrid format of physical and virtual platforms due to prevalence of the Covid-19 pandemic.