President Lazarus Chakwera has appointed Merlyne Nachulu Yolamu as new Inspector General of Malawi Police Service (MPS) exactly one month after relieving George Kainja of his duties.
In a brief statement issued on Friday by Secretary to the President and Cabinet Colleen Zamba, Yolamu’s appointment is subject to confirmation by Parliament.
“The general public is hereby notified that in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 154(2) of the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi, His Excellency Dr Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera has appointed Mrs Merlyne Nachulu Yolamu to the position of Inspector General of Police,” reads the statement dated July 22 2022.
Until her appointment, Yolamu was Deputy IG responsible for administration.
Yolamu becomes the second woman police chief in the country after Mary Nangwale around 2004, but her appointment was not confirmed by Parliament.
The new police chief takes over from Kainja, who was fired by President Chakwera after allegations that he was implicated, alongside others, in bribery allegations involving businessperson Zuneth Sattar.
Kainja, who served as police IG between August 2020 and June 2022, is alleged to have received bribes in form of a vehicle and cash from Sattar in exchange for procurement contracts between his companies and the MPS.
Women rights activist Patricia Mtungila has since hailed Chakwera, saying he has scored another point for appointing a woman as head of the country’s security agency.
She described the appointment as a positive development towards women empowerment and increased representation of women in leadership or decision-making positions.
“We cannot achieve sustainable development goals if we leave women behind in leadership positions so this is a very positive move and President Chakwera needs to be highly commended for entrusting a woman to lead the police service,” said Mtungila, who is also director of Purple Innovation for Women and Girls.