Experts Decry Presidential Security Laxity
Security Experts have faulted the country’s security institutions for allowing a group of party youth who are civilians to run along the Presidential Motorcade describing the conduct as unprofessional and a threat to the President’s security.
Brigadier General Misheck Chirwa (retired) and Sheriff Kaisi were reacting to Tuesday events when Malawi Congress Party (MCP) youth clad in black uniforms disregarded the security detail and run along President Lazarus Chakwera’s convoy.
Video clips that have gone viral on social media show men in black combat uniforms and red MCP branded berets running alongside the Presidential Motorcade, apparently providing security to the first citizen which Brigadier General Chirwa (retired) and Kaisi condemn as a security flaw that should not be condoned.
According to Brigadier General Chirwa (retired), currently teaching security studies at Mzuzu University, the police and army should not have allowed this to happen.
He added that it is a security concern considering that there are security institutions that are supposed to take care of the safety and security of the President.
“Where were the police and army? It seems we are going back to the old days when we had security institutions not approved by parliament.”
Another security analyst Kaisi, a former MDF soldier, says “clearly, the security institutions have failed to do their job.”
He concurs with Brigadier General Chirwa (retired) that constitutionally only the police and army are mandated to provide security for the president.
Kaisi was quick to say not every police officer or soldier does that, “special training given to those guarding the President.”
“Look at how they were running, very close to the President’s convoy and in a disorderly manner. That was total chaos. We don’t want to have a situation where one is run over by the convoy.”
Malawi Police Service National Spokesperson James Kadadzera asked for more time before commenting.
MCP Deputy Spokesperson Ezekiel Ching’oma admitted that the people seen in the video are MCP youth. He however said they were not providing security to the President.
“The people, including the youth and women were running towards the Bingu International Convention Centre BICC where President Lazarus Chakwera was to hold a rally. It is just unfortunate that it looked like they were providing security.”
He further said the party’s Director of Youth Richard Chimwendo Banda who is also minister of Homeland Security has condemned what happened.
“Having noted what happened, the Party’s Director of Youth called the leaders of those that were running along the Presidential Convoy and told them never to do it again.” Said Ching’oma.
The Constitution of Malawi mandates the Police and Military to provide security for the president.