In the first place, felicitations to Mrs. Merlyne Yolamu for her appointment as the Inspector General (IG) of the Malawi Police Service.
In my previous contribution on the same, I faulted the President for firing the previous IG without an immediate replacement. The President did not care about the continuity of IG services because Malawi did not have an IG for the past four weeks. Who was calling the shots on the ground?
Are we flabbergasted that the police arrested some individuals during the demonstrations even those who were on their way to cheer the sick at Lilongwe district hospital commonly known as Bottom hospital? We had a headless Malawi Police Service on the ground.
I also have reservations on the appointment of our new Inspector General because there is an audio circulating in the social media in which the new IG is heard taking orders from her junior that would disadvantage another officer. For sure, this smacks of her poor administrative skills.
It is usual for working colleagues to have sour relationships. As a result, one may choose to axe the other by seeking favours from his boss.
A flashback a bit. Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda, the first President of Malawi, was a very good administrator and disciplinarian. Malawians should borrow a leaf from him.
At that particular time, Dr. Banda trusted Mr. Robson Chirwa very much. This did not go down well with some people who wanted favours from the president.
One day, a powerful man, who is still alive to this day, booked an appointment with Dr Banda.
During the meeting, Dr. Banda was perplexed that the subject of the discussion was about the mudslinging of Robson Chirwa.
Dr. Banda fumed as he could not fathom how the trusted Robson Chirwa would conspire to overthrow his government.
However, before he would make a decision, he wanted to hear Robson Chirwa’s side of the story.
Dr. Banda immediately phoned Robson Chirwa to immediately report to his office. He immediately sent a helicopter to pick Robson Chirwa who was in the North conducting some political rallies that time.
Upon hearing such a command, Robson Chirwa did not know his fate for Dr. Banda was a fierce man. The worst was death for he was able to discern fury in Dr. Banda’s chuckling voice.
When Robson Chirwa entered Dr. Banda’s office, he was bamboozled that it would be a meeting of three people. In fact, he was expecting an immediate arrest.
Dr. Banda did not hesitate to introduce the agenda of the meeting. He immediately asked the rumour mongerer to explain everything in the presence of Robson Chirwa.
The backbiter was dumbfounded and after cross examination, Dr Banda concluded that Robson Chirwa was innocent. This cemented the bond of relationship between Dr. Banda and Robson Chirwa further and Chirwa was consequently prompted.
Following the principles of natural Justice, Mrs. Merlyne Yolamu was supposed to hear from both sides of the story before making a decision. I am utterly disappointed.
1) It is therefore our profound hope that the parliamentary Public Appointment Committee will critically scrutinise her competence before confirming her.
2) President Chakwera should widen his catchment area of appointing people to public positions based on meritocratic principles. Much as we also appreciate that some crucial positions must be appointed on trust, we don’t buy the notion that such trust can only be realised from people of one’s tribe , church members and district or region of origin only.
3) We also recommend that there must be an open and transparent appraisal performance system in the Malawi Police Service. It is unfortunate that an opinion communicated over a phone from one officer about another officer’s performance can influence somebody’s fate just like that.
- It is an appeal to all leaders, administrators and managers to discharge their duties professionally without fear or favour.
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