Britain has urged the need for new military police officers to uphold high operational standards to sustain existing prominence of the Malawi Defence Force (MDF).
For the past five weeks, British Army officers have been conducting a Military Police Basic Course Number 9 for 60 new military police officers, out of which 52 graduated on Thursday at Kamuzu Barracks in Lilongwe.
According to MDF, the other eight officers failed to adhere to training standards.
British High Commission deputy head of mission Mathews Hackworth said the training is important for the MDF, particularly the military police, who will enforce law and regulations within the military.
He said the partnership with MDF has always been strong since 1996, when the British Army first introduced the military police in the Malawi Army and has been helping them develop the military police force since then.
“We always stand strong together with MDF through several means of support such as the military police training as well as the peace-keeping mission and our relationship will always be strong.
“The graduating personnel have a tough task ahead of them, it’s a very difficult job to take forward but they have been prepared through the training to face the challenges. They are hardworking and dedicated to duty and I am sure they will do well in their tasks,” said Hackworth.
MDF deputy chief of training Laurence Mambo said the 52 officers will beef up the existing military police as the numbers were inadequate, adding that the MDF leadership expects the additional military police officers to perform in line with the desired military standards set up in the force.
Said Mambo: “It’s important to train more soldiers to have desired manpower because the military police was almost depleted. Some of them have been leaving to take up other roles within the MDF, so it was important to beef up the numbers.
“Just like the civilian police, we at the MDF, need the military police, they are there to police our operations, our day-to-day living as a community of the force. They are there to enforce all the laws and regulations of the MDF, that’s why we need them,” he said.
While commending the British Government for the support in training the military police officers, Mambo called for more support in building the Maritime, Land Forces and the Airforce because the MDF is growing.
Trained by the Royal Military Police (1RMR) from United Kingdom, the MDF Military Police was formed in 1996.