By Prince Banda MANA
Independent Complaints Commission (ICC) has on Friday held the first national conference which brought together various judiciary stakeholders including leaders from the Malawi Police Service (MPS) to push for transparent and accountable policing service in the country.
The conference which was funded by the government of the United States of America (USA) through the United Nation Development Programme (UNDP), is part of the awareness campaign which aims at promoting public understanding on how ICC will lobby to revive a status of trust between police and citizens of Malawi.
Christopher Tukula, a Commissioner at ICC said as an independent body, ICC will not only address issues of corruption or human rights abuse, but it will also enforce integrity, professionalism and accountability in policing services by talking to offending officers.
“For long the country has been witnessing ethical deviant police officers who often take matters to their hands or take advantage of their offices, uniform or ranks to facilitate or masterminding the acts of corruption or abusing the public rights.
“Whenever, an officer involves himself in such malpractice, it is the public’s obligation to take the matter to ICC which upon thorough investigation, has the mandate to take such officers to court,” Tukula said.
Minister of Homeland Security Ken Zikhale Ng’oma, hailed government for seeing through the establishment of an ICC which he said is a clear indication that government is determined in ending corruption and promoting human rights of its people.
“Currently, plans have already been established to get rid of police officers who will by the mandate and jurisdiction of the newly established ICC found guilty in various notorious acts be it facilitating the acts of theft, corruption or human rights abuse.
“There will soon be relocation of long serving officers from districts to districts upon noticing that some long serving officers in particular districts are the same people who work together with criminals to facilitate theft in various communities,” Ng’oma said.
UNDP resident representative Shigeki Komatsubara emphasised on the need for collaborative efforts from various judiciary bodies who were present at the conference in reviving the trust that was long lost between people and the police through the use of ICC.
ICC was proposed in 2010 but it has since been actively established in 2020 under Part XIII of the Police Act.