‘fake’ Police Worry Political Parties
Opposition political parties have expressed fears over the deployment of Malawi Police Service officers at polling centres, saying they had received reports government wanted to use ‘fake police officers’ as one way of orchestrating rigging of the presidential and parliamentary elections.
United Democratic Front (UDF) Director of Research, Humphreys Mvula, and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Director of Elections, Joseph Njovuyalema, confirmed having expressed the fears.
Mvula said opposition parties just wanted assurance police personnel to be deployed at police centres would be bonafide ones. He said he had heard of plans by “government” to deploy “fake police officers who will wear police uniform” but whose main aim is to “aid in vote rigging”.
“It is a concern, really, and that is the reason we need assurance from the Electoral Commission (EC) that this will not be allowed to happen,” said Mvula.
Njovuyalema expressed similar concerns, adding there was need to be clear on deployment of police officers and other security personnel.
But EC Chairperson, Justice Anastasia Msosa, parried aside the claims. She said, as far as she was concerned, EC would hire “duly employed police personnel from the Malawi Police Service”.
“In fact, we asked for 8000 police officers but there is a shortfall of 3000. We have filled that gap with 3000 personnel from the Malawi Defense Force,” she said.