The Malawi Police Service (MPS) has promoted about 7 000 junior police officers, citing reduced crime rate as a motivation for the development.
The official list we have seen, includes 3 959 constables promoted to the rank of sergeant and 3 094 sergeants moved to sub inspector position.
In a telephone interview yesterday, National Police spokesperson James Kadadzera confirmed the promotions, but said it has nothing to do with the campaign period.
He said police management was pleased to note the reduced crime rate in the country; hence, the promotions.
“We cannot stop to promote our officers because it is election time. The officers have done a commendable job in reducing crime in the country,” he said.
He insisted that police promoted officers yearly based on performance.
“I do not understand why elections should be an issue. From our assessment the police have done a great job deserving these promotions. It would be unfair to hold these promotions because it is election time”.
In an interview, Economists Association of Malawi president Chikumbutso Kalilombe questioned the promotions in view of the timing and financial implication.
According to Kalilombe, it has become a tradition for government to spend wantonly during elections, which is also contrary to IMF advice.
“It looks political definitely; we cannot run away from that. The budget statement or mid-term budget review did not include these massive promotions,” he observed.
Early this month, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology promoted about 20 000 teachers.
The move was largely viewed as a campaign gimmick by the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) ahead of the May 21 tripartite elections.