By Lydia Maganga
Blantyre, January 15, Mana: Minister of Homeland Security, Richard Chimwendo Banda has disclosed that government plans to recruit 3,000 police officers this year, to beef up law enforcement personnel in the country.
Banda said Malawi needs to have 25,000-32,000 police officers to meet the security demand. However, he said there were only 14,000 police officers due to limited office space.
He was speaking in Blantyre when he inspected the work progress of the new Blantyre Police Office Complex currently under construction.
The minister said the new offices would address some of the challenges of working space and employing more staff may not be worrisome as it was the case in the past.
“Malawi Police Service does not have enough infrastructure in terms of offices and housing.
“This building will help sort out the issue of office space in Blantyre and upon its completion, we will be considering building similar facilities in regional offices,” said Chimwendo Banda.
The minister said he was impressed with the quality of the work at the construction site and the progress made so far. He said though the project may delay until December, this year, government was proud of the outcome.
“The delay is justified because the project delayed for about six months on account that the land allocated was much smaller than the design so they had to make adjustments of the design to add another floor.
“For that reason, we can understand the delay of six months, but at the same time the quality and progress is good and we are contented,” said Banda.
In his remarks, Inspector General of Police, Dr. George Kainja said the new police infrastructure is the first of its kind in the country and that the facility would be handed to Malawi Police Service by December was commendable.
Kainja said housing and office space is a big challenge for Malawi Police Service, noting that the office building under construction would ease office space challenges and that some of the new recruits would have offices to operate from.
The new Police Office Building Project was scheduled to be completed in three years starting from April 15, 2019 to April 15, 2022, but contractors felt the project would be completed by December 13, 2022.