Monday, April 22, 2024

Malawi Government to Introduce Police Bodyguards for District Commissioners’ Security

Chimwendo Banda

Minister of Local Government Richard Chimwendo Banda has announced that the government intends to enhance the security and status of District Commissioners (DCs), Municipality Council, and City Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) by assigning them police bodyguards as part of their security arrangements. This announcement was made during a quarterly coordination meeting for councils in the Northern Region and some from the Central Region, which was held in Mzuzu City.

Chimwendo Banda emphasized that DCs and CEOs play pivotal roles in overseeing development at the district level, underscoring the necessity of providing them with police officers for their security. However, he clarified that the councils themselves would be responsible for the logistics involved.

“You are people with authority. DCs drive the dream of the country’s development. You deserve police bodyguards for proper security because you represent the government at district level,” Chimwendo Banda said.

While some civil society organizations have expressed reservations about this initiative, Hadrod Mkandawire, the Executive Director of the Malawi Local Government Association, voiced support for the Minister’s proposal, noting that this practice is not uncommon in other countries.

“In other countries, DCs and mayors are so respected that they are provided with police bodyguards. This is because they have more power at councils. In short, they are the eyes of the government.

“Actually, the police body guard [initiative] should be extended to mayors in cities. These are very important leaders in district and city councils. That is why when foreign presidents visit cities, they pay a courtesy call on the mayor,” Mkandawire said.

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