Lot Dzonzi- Inspector General of Police Dear Raphael,

I was checking with my Longman Pocket Roget Thesaurus (this is an important tool any journalist must posses) the  meaning of ‘unorthodox’. It gave a variety of meanings but I pick and chose the following: (verbs) be unconformable, (adjective) supernatural, exceptional, unusual, phenomenal, peculiar, ridiculous, noteworthy nomadic, outlandish (nouns) exemption, nonconformity, deviation. 


I choose to call it “thinking outside the box”.

I do not know how many people out there know that the Malawi Police Service is one of the few public institutions that have full-time chaplains on government pay-roll. What is their role? To offer encouragement, support and counsel to police officers and to pray for or with them.

With whom do they do it? The police officers, of course!

What happened during our national day of prayer and fasting was that we simply brought this aspect to a higher level. We thought a little ‘outside the box’ the role of police chaplaincy.

Just thinking about it, because of being what you call “the pious Inspector General”, I am governed by a worldview that includes a strong belief in a God that is still interested and involved in the affairs of humanity. His involvement is, however, dependent on men’s invitation of Him to take part in their affairs. (We do that through prayer and fasting for those who are willing and able).

My worldview does inform me that most things that happen in the natural world have a corresponding occurrence in the spiritual realm.  Crime and criminality are such occurrences. To me, national days of prayer should go beyond mere rhetoric but must be real and based on the faith that God does intercede in the affairs of men.

True faith is, however, accompanied by corresponding action from the people of faith. Our prayer, therefore, was ‘God bring these criminals into our police dragnet so that we arrest them and they be prosecuted’. This takes place in the physical, natural realm.

Prayers, therefore, do not substitute any need for planning and implementing practical policing strategies. Joint operations are not an end in themselves; neither do they solve all security problems. They have their own positive effects, though, one of which is to offer public re-assurance and the other is to scare would be criminals

I also do believe in the need for the motivation of police officers in as much as I believe in the need for integrity, patriotism, hard work and professionalism.

Once rich man was once asked, “How much does it take to get enough?” His answer was, “Just a little more.”

Hey, the rogue police officers you talk about are arrested because they do not respect our organisation’s ethics. We try to do analysis to get information on any officers that commit crimes or are corrupt.

We also engage government on the resourcing of the Malawi Police Service. You will appreciate, though, that the current low resource levels are a result of lack of long- term investment in such areas. But encouraging signals are already being seen like the procurement of 50 vehicles, eight of which have already been deployed.

Ralph, thanks for your public feedback.

I am your good friend Lot Dzonzi (and, to prove it, you spelt my name right, Lot, and not Loti like others do!)

Wow! What else can the Muckraker say? Except, of course, to mimic my senior colleague, Zebs, in saying, thanks, bwana IG, for writing, please write again!

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