LILONGWE—Members of Parliament approved the appointment of Rodney Jose as Inspector General (IG) of Police on Wednesday, a development that has angered many Malawians and shocked many international activists.
President Peter Mutharika appointed Jose as acting IG in April, replacing Lexten Kachama who is currently on leave, pending retirement on June 30.
According to a notice appearing on the Order Paper of Monday, June 25 2018, Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security, Cecilia Chazama, was obliged to bring the issue in the House on Wednesday.
Upon bringing the issue in the parliament, Jose got a node from the legislators.
However, his approval has received condemnation form different quarters with others questioning the President Peter Mutharika’s reasoning as a professor of law considering that Jose is implicated in the Robert Chasowa’s murder. Chasowa was an engineering student at the Malawi Polytechnic until his death.
Mutharika, who is a professor of law, is amazing many Malawians with well frame of mind as he continues to associate himself with people with questionable characters. At party level, Mutharika enjoy cordial relationship with regional governor Charles Mchacha. Mchacha has been organizing raids against opponents and he is believed to have a hand in the torching of Bon Kalindo’s house and cars.
Mchacha also despised Patricia Kaliati’s husband in full view of all Malawians at a political rally.
Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have been pressing Mutharika to reverse the decision of appointing Jose as IG. This is one on the issues they raised in a petition delivered on April 27.
Last week, the CSOs had a meeting with Leader of Opposition, Lazarus Chakwera, where they also asked the opposition to block Jose’s appointment after his name was mentioned in a report on the 2011 murder of Robert Chasowa.
In an interview Tuesday, one of the CSO leaders, Timothy Mtambo, insists Jose should not be confirmed on the position.
“People occupying high positions should have clean records. Mr Jose is mentioned in Chasowa’s murder. He has not been cleared. We asked President Peter Mutharika to reverse the decision. But since the name is being taken to Parliament, we ask all MPs, who believe in protecting the lives of people, not to confirm him,” Mtambo said.
Mtambo, however, said government should be ready with more candidates for the position.
“We are going into elections year. We cannot go there with another acting IG. We want Parliament to confirm an IG in this meeting. Government should have more than one candidate for the position. In the event that one is rejected, the House should consider another name [on the list],” Mtambo said.
Before Kachama’s confirmation in 2015, then acting IG, Paul Kanyama, in February the same year, resigned from his position at a time the MPs were in Parliament debating his appointment.
After slightly over an hour into the debate, and upon hearing that Kanyama had announced his resignation, the MPs discontinued the exercise.
Parliament in 2006 rejected late Mary Nangwale as IG after former president, the late Bingu wa Mutharika, appointed her.