Inspector General of Malawi Police Service (MPS) Rodney Jose has transferred some top officers within the service, with former Commissioner of Police (CP) for Southern Region Demster Chigwenembe being moved to head Police College.
Chigwenembe has been posted to Zomba to head Police College as a commandant while Sledge Yousuf, who was senior deputy commissioner (SDCP) for Centre Region, is now the police chief for the South.
On MPS hierarchy, Chigwenembe was fourth in command after Jose, Duncan Mwapasa, who is deputy Inspector General (DIG) responsible for operations then John Nyondo, DIG responsible for administration. His official vehicle was MP 4.
While Chigwenembe will, meanwhile still be using his official car, a Toyota VX Land Cruiser, he ceases to have the police flag on it.
A communication dated October 29 2018, which Nation on Sunday has seen, also indicates that Arlene Baluwa, who was Chigwenembe’s deputy is now in-charge of Eastern Region Police in whose jurisdiction Police College is.
Hannings Mlotha, who was commandant at Police College, has been sent to head the Northern Region Police, with Leonard Kamphika, who was SDCP Eastern Region, being posted to Southern Region on the same position.
The transfers include commandant for Central Region Training Centre (CRTC) in Lilongwe, Evalista Chisale, who has moved to Central Region Police as deputy commissioner of police (DCP) while Josiah Kanthiti, head of Urban Police for Lilongwe is now DCP for Eastern Region.
Maxmas Bakali, officer-in-charge (OC) for Mchinji Police Station, has swapped with Owen Maganga at Dowa Police Station. Thyolo OC Teresa Nankhuni has been cross-transferred with George Chikhungu of Mangochi Police Station.
National police spokesperson James Kadadzera confirmed the movements in an interview on Thursday.
Kadadzera, however, played down assertions that Chigwenembe had been ‘demoted’, arguing “he still is commissioner, therefore, the insinuation that he is demoted is incorrect”.
He said the position of commandant as per police establishment demands that it should be filled by a commissioner “and Mr Chigwenembe qualifies”.
“Actually, several other commissioners have served as commandants in our training schools before. Mr Rodney Jose [current Inspector General], Mrs Salomy Tamulangani and Mr Bamusi Kumalasa all headed police training schools,” explained Kadadzera.
This is the first major shake-up in the police service since President Peter Mutharika, in April this year, appointed Jose to replace Lexten Kachama, Mwapasa for Jose and Nyondo as DIG for administration. n