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President Lazarus Chakwera Under Fire for Abusing Malawi Army

Barely days after being accused of using police officers to carry a speaker on their heads during a rally, President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera’s Tonse Alliance administration has come under another heavy criticism for abusing Malawi Defence Force (MDF) soldiers. 

MDF Soldiers Ready to Transport Fuel

This follows the recent involvement of MDF soldiers in the transportation and distribution of fuel to filling stations across the country following truck drivers’ nationwide strike which lasted for four days.

Social media influencer and activist Rhodney Salamu said the involvement of MDF soldiers in internal matters such as fuel transportation and providing security during national examinations will make the men in uniform to start losing respect among citizens.

“We recently witnessed MDF soldiers being used to transport and distribute fuel to filling stations across the country this is totally uncalled for, our men in uniform will soon lose their respect  if government will continue to use them in internal matters,” said Salamu, while appealing to President Chakwera to have trust in Police when it comes to internal matters.

File: Armed MDF Soldier Providing Security During Primary School Exams

But in a statement MDF Acting Spokesperson, Emmanuel Kelvin Mlelemba said: “It is in line with one of its (MDF) constitutional roles of providing technical expertise and resources to assist the civilian authorities in the maintenance of essential services in times of emergency in the country,”

Commenting on Truck Drivers and Truck Owners Strike, the fearless social commentator Salamu accused Tonse Alliance administration for moving on snail’s pace in addressing the welfare of the two concerned groups.

Salamu: We have lost billions as a country due to the sit-in

“The demands by the truck drivers and owners are genuine, If we had a listening government we would not have reached far,” said Salamu adding that “We have lost billions as a country due to the sit-in which could have been avoided if their grievances were addressed earlier on.” 

Truck drivers were demanding government to back their demand of K140, 000 monthly salary from their employers.

According to the drivers employers some are not adhering to requirement since their drivers are still being paid as low as K40, 000 per month.

But the employers say if they are to go by the new salaries, then government should give all contracts of fuel carriers to Malawian Transport companies, which according to Salamu is non-negotiable.

“The demands by the truck owners are non-negotiable; you cannot give business to foreign companies when we have local firms which can provide the same services,” said Salamu in a less than five minutes video clip.

Kazako: Its Sabotage

However, in an interview with a local media Malawi government Spokesperson Gospel Kazako described the sit-in as “sabotage”. He further threatened to take legal action against striking drivers.


Rhodney Salamu– is a social media influencer and commentator based at Monkey Bay in Mangochi district. He uses social media platforms to comment on various issues affecting the country.

Contact Details:

Phone: +265991394800

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  1. A military person is supposed to be kept in barracks where he resides/works. His/her duty is to protect, safeguard, police and promote sovereignty of a country and the nationals from foreign aggression and/or provide support to the civil authority in a crisis. Their usage has to follow the outlined precept and if need be a prompt Parliamentary Committee on Security should be summoned in order to give consent on any decision involving a soldier.

    Shortage of fuel in a country for a week or so can not be categorised as a crisis. Malawi has experienced such scenarios before in the past even during Kamuzu’s era when war was fought in Mozambique. The current administration miserably failed in their Logistics/management of their offices in line with moving fuel from the ports into Malawi (By the way why can’t you cut down on turn-around time by using Nacala Port/Railway line?) Making sweeping statements by ordering business owners to pay more than they can afford to their drivers without government cushioning the extra expenditure is criminal. Instead of supporting local entrepreneurship you are empowering foreign transporters. How do you expect the locals to operate on an equal footing?

    By the way, the whole minister goes off his scope to scare and threaten drivers/businessmen by saying government can buy own trucks to move fuel; will the trucks move on their own without being driven? These Youth League or MYP way of handling things will just worsen matters. Is he not the same person who poured petrol on an already burning fire when he was called to resolve the Bushiri absconding from South Africa? Try to be matured and don’t bring personal issues to the office because doing so inconveniences everyone. Bottomline is that the military was ill-utilised. Next time when you really need them their impact won’t be appreciated. In otherwords, what this administration did was to muzzle the Labour Force disputes by using the military. Not all duties carriedout by civilians can equally be handled by soldiers. You still need those qualified civilians to do their job having satisfied their demands as required by the human rights.


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