By Duncan Mlanjira
Malawi Police Service (MPS) Inspector General (IG), George Kainja officially opened a police unit at Khonjeni in Thyolo on Sunday, which was initiated by the area’s Member of Parliament and constructed through Constituency Development Fund.
Kainja commended Phiri, the Thyolo Central Constituency legistrator for initiating the construction of the structure, saying for a long time MPS had always wished that Khonjeni could have a proper and secure offices to operate from.
“This is a magnificent structure and I take this opportunity to extend my gratitude to the Honorable MP, who has honoured his pledge that he shall provide this police unit when he campaigned to be elected into office,” said the IG.
“I am quite sure the Honorable MP must have observed that the nearest police service the people was a distance of close to 10kms away — at Luchenza Police Station and that was not good in as far as community security was concerned.”
He told the media that once resources are available, the MPS already have plans to have one or two police units in each and every constituency and to be as close as possible to a full police station.
IG Kainja further said they have already engaged with the Defence and Security Committee of Parliament of the expansion plans they have that includes that police units should have proper mobility means such as cars or motorcycles.
He asked the members of the public to have confidence with the police officers to be stationed there by being friendly with them in cognizance that they are also part of the members of their community.
“People should cultivate good relationships with the police and in turn everyone plays a part in making sure the community’s security is assured.
“We have an excellent infrastructure here that is also beautifying the community and I ask the people to take good care of the facility.”
MP Ben Phiri, who served as Minister of Local Government & Rural Development for one year from 2019 to June 2020, said when he was contesting for the seat in Parliament, he carried out a needs assessment of his constituency and amongst the priorities was a police unit.
“I promised my constituents that within my five-year tenure of office I shall initiate that we have a police unit here and I am proud and thank God today that within a year after making that pledge, I am here to witness its official opening.
“This could not have come to fruition if it had not been the positive response and management of the Constituency Development Fund committee, which made it possible that the Local Government should provide the funds for the construction of the police unit as a priority.
“As you are aware, development does not come when there is no security — you need a secure community if one wants to do business and thus the priority for Khonjeni was to have a proper police unit that can house several police officers to instil confidence in the community.”
The Khonjeni police unit, built at a cost of K24 million, has a front desk (popularly known as OB — occurrences book desk); administration offices and two holding cell compartments, catering for both female and male suspects.
The Khonjeni community members flocked to the police unit as soon as a police flag was raised at the new unit and the anticipation of something exciting grew when the police brass band arrived.
The inquisitive members of the public were entertained by the brass band as they waited for the IG to arrive and after the official opening, the brass band escorted the IG by foot to a nearby football ground for public speeches and celebration performances.