I commend my good friend Lot Dzonzi, the Inspector General of Police, for using unorthodox ways in combating crime in the country.
Lot, the most pious police chief Malawi has ever had, led his troops in a day of prayer and fasting this other Thursday. That was a novel way of combating crime, I must say.
To Bingu, Peter Mukhito was the best police chief ever, but I think Lot is the coolest head of the police service in the 50 years we have been a republic. He is always calm and collected and never loses temper even when provoked.
But I think, while prayer and fasting are welcome, they may not end crime. Police officers need to be well equipped and properly motivated which need more than prayer.
Joint operations by security organs may help sending the message to the underworld but they only succeed in netting idle drunks, desperate refugees, sex workers and homeless people.
Look, during the latest joint security sweep, only two guns were confiscated while truckloads of people were hauled to the courts for rogue and vagabond or related crimes. But the courts discharged all of them.
Loitering in the streets is not a crime. We have lots of idle people in our midst because of lack of jobs.
I know, as my good friend Lot has confessed, policing is difficult but innocent people must not be victimised.
Look, police must look within itself for answers for the escalating crime rates in the country. In almost all high stakes crimes police officers are involved. If you do not believe me, the recent half a billion kwacha heist at the Standard Bank in Mzuzu was traced back to a police officer in Blantyre who has since been arrested.
Real criminal lords have deep pockets; they can buy their freedom from desperate police officers. Lot has to motivate his men and women so that they are not susceptible to corruption.
Let us pray and fast, of course, for deliverance, but let be practical as we do so.