EDITORIAL: Government can do better on security

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Police patrols can help curb rising crime

While President Arthur Peter Mutharika commended the Police Officers for intercepting armed robbers at Jenda in Mzimba who recently had stolen over K400 million from Mzuzu in the northern region, we at Banthu Times believe that as a country we can do better. The incident in Mzuzu where robbers went into Standard Bank and stole millions of kwacha is unfortunate and should not have happened in the first place if our security system is in place and indeed if our security personnel were doing their job properly

A bank is one of the most secured facility which has security features which most offices and house cannot have. Furthermore, the Bank and indeed Mzuzu Standard bank branch has police officers manning it and the question we have is to say if a bank with such security can fall prey to robbers, what more our houses and offices.

Even for the robbers to have driven all the way from Mzuzu to Jenda for over 100 kms passing through 2 road blocks at Raiply and Chikangawa in the process questions the ability of our police to provide security and indeed the role that these road blocks provide

It’s a pity that our police is more concerned with traffic offences and indeed stopping minibuses when criminals are going scot free. It seems that each and every station of the Malawi police has more traffic police officers doing their job than other departments. While the general duties would not have a vehicle to respond to an emergency, the traffic department would always have a vehicle for chasing minibuses and traffic offenders.

Driving through our cities one would wonder whether the police has any other role than to man the traffic as you are likely to pass over 100 officers in either Lilongwe and Blantyre as traffic offices but fewer officers doing patrols in hotspot areas

For instance in Lilongwe Area 47 has seen a sharp rise of armed robberies including that which lives have been lost yet there seem to be no break in the crimes. We question how can the same area be targeted week in and out by robbers when we have the security machinery in place? Where are the police patrols that we used to see in our locations in the past? Where are the road checks which were being created at night searching cars in our locations? Where are the arrests of rogue and vagabond which was common?

We believe that instead of President Mutharika only thinking of rewarding the two officers who intercepted but failed to arrest the robbers of Mzuzu standard bank, would find ways of motivating general duty officers within the police like their counterparts in the Traffic departments. In Malawi Police is an open secret that when you are in a traffic department of the police you are motivated as you are busy milking the citizens everyday unlike other departments which have limited incentives. Ever wonder why most women in the traffic police department are fat than their counterparts in the other departments?