Tuesday, February 27

Ombudsman To Probe Malawi Police Recruitment Scandal

The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has asked the Ombudsman to probe some senior officers at the Malawi Police Service (MPS) headquarters in Lilongwe for allegedly offering jobs in the service to their children.

According to a letter we have seen, dated April 7 2022, from ACB addressed to the office of the Ombudsman, the bureau received a complaint on October 7 2021 and after reviewing it, they referred the matter to the office of the Ombudsman.
The letter, signed by ACB chief investigations officer Pacharo Nyirongo, states that senior police officers involved in the recruitment and short-listing of candidates did not release names of successful candidates after they attended written interviews in July last year.

Reads the letter in part: “Instead, the officers displayed on notice board names of shortlisted candidates to attend oral interviews. A case in point is Blantyre Police Station. The bureau has reviewed the complaint and is of the view that the office of the Ombudsman can handle the matter under its broader mandate.”

In an interview on Tuesday, Ombudsman Grace Malera confirmed receiving the communication, saying they will screen the complaint to assess its admissibility.

Said Malera: “If found admissible, we will proceed to investigate into the matter, and engage with the concerned offices and chart a way forward from there. Suffice to state that in a previous recruitment exercise that Malawi Police carried out, the office of Ombudsman also handled and resolved complaints on some issues that surrounded the recruitment process.”

The probe comes on top of reports this week that at least 100 youths were left stranded in Lilongwe after being sent back from various police training schools after it transpired they were not on the official list of those selected for training.

Homeland Security Minister Jean Sendeza told our sister newspaper The Nation that preliminary information indicated that a suspected conman identified as Faliyopa was charging the unsuspecting youths up to K150 000 to attend training in the latest police recruitment for training.

Said Sendeza: “I was asked by the Inspector General of Police if I knew anything about a group of youths sent to Kanjedza Police Training School. I responded that I did not.

“This man was duping these youths using my name. This is character assassination. We are going to interview these youths to give us more details about this person.”

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