The security and safety breakdown in Malawi is of great concern to government and comprehensive strategies are being put in place to root out the vice, Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security Uladi Mussa confessed last week.
In an interview, Mussa said there were some people who want to sabotage President Joyce Bandaâ€™s government by spreading the propaganda that her administration has relaxed on security.
Mussa was reacting to the perception in the public domain that the increase in the crime rate was a result of pronouncements that the shoot-to-kill directive by former president Bingu wa Mutharika had been reversed.
In a statement released in the week, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) blames the Joyce Banda administration for the security lapse which the party says has put peopleâ€™s lives and property at risk.
â€œDPP wonders what the new administration is doing when people are being mugged on our roads, cell phones are being stolen, and motor vehicles are being broken into. Our people continue to suffer multiple losses this time through the laissez-faire approach by the Joyce Banda administration in managing security,â€ says the party.
DPP further says the new administration should quickly arrest the soaring crime rate, avoid statements that demotivate police officers, and immediately stop offering red-carpet treatment to criminals.
Mussa admitted at a news conference at Police Training College recently that government suspects that there were some officers in the service who were serving political interests in protest of the recent leadership change.
He said some officers and the DPP youth cadets were involved in the criminal activities to frustrate Bandaâ€™s government and in protest of the appointment of Lot Dzonzi as Inspector General of police.
On the increase in crime late, Mussa said government has reports that some DPP youth cadets who were given firearms are involved and that he had evidence to that effect.
Last week, the minister said Malawi Police Service (MPS) and Malawi Defence Force (MDF) would come up with an operations to stamp out criminals who have completely raided every part of the country as incidents of crime are reported on a daily basis.
â€œWithin a short time, police will announce the new strategy [that will involve] an operation with the army. But I donâ€™t want to say more to avoid alerting the criminals on what we are doing to root them out,â€ said Mussa.
Added Mussa: â€œIt is not true that the Joyce Banda government has relaxed on security matters. This is just propaganda to discredit government. But it is true that we are very concerned with the security of this country and I am getting more and more worried because we want people to be at peace.â€
MPS spokesperson Davie Chingwalu said the law enforcers have intensified security, especially in areas worst hit by robberies. He also said figures indicate a decrease in crime rate from January to June 2012, which has registered 32 883 cases as compared to 40 202 cases recorded during the same period last year.