People’s Party (PP) has said plans to create Citizen’s Police are not the answer to the country’s security needs, noting this may create parallel structures in the Malawi Police Service (MPS).
PP chief whip in Parliament Ralph Jooma made the remarks in response to President Peter Mutharika’s State of the Nation Address in which he said a Citizen’s Police was one way of addressing challenges security institutions such as MPS encounter.
“To address the challenges, government will, among other things, allow the Malawi Police Service and Malawi Defence Force execute their mandate without political interference and transform community policing into Citizen’s Police which will be better equipped and trained in crime prevention,” Mutharika said in his address last week.
He did not, however, elaborate how community policing structures, which are poorly funded and rely on donor funding, would be turned into full-fledged Citizen’s Police.
In reaction to the plan, Jooma said turning community policing into Citizen’s Police would not adequately address security issues when regionalism, tribalism and youth unemployment continue to persist.
“Tribalism and regionalism have posed a wide range of security threats to the government and the people of Malawi. The way we voted poses a very big security challenge; tribalism and regionalism are a security risk we should be very careful about,” Jooma said.
On several occasions, Jooma told Parliament that plans by the Mutharika government to enact the Public Remuneration Board, establish a One-Stop Investment Centre and a council for long-term planning of development initiatives already existed.
Jooma, who described Mutharika’s speech as a ‘mere dream in blue’, said PP would wait to see how the full budget to be presented to Parliament in September would address the issue of cement and iron sheets subsidy, construction of four international airports, completion of Nsanje Inland Port and construction of all the major roads highlighted in the State of the Nation Address.