The Malawi Police Service in the country has officers that are hardwired to behave with some airs of renitent boorishness. I know so because I have two brothers – like cousins – who are police officers.
When we were staying together in the same household they were just like any other siblings; respectful to us the elder brothers and all that, but as soon as they completed their training at the Police Training School, their attitude completely and suddenly revolved into something unrecognisable. They surrounded themselves with airs of undeserved authority and everything they wanted to do, they did with unapologetic impunity.
I don’t know what they are taught at that institution in Kanjedza because all over sudden they talk to you in an imposing way and they think you can no longer reason better with them. Just check what happens whenever you meet them and are accusing you of committing an offence be it in the street, markets or on the road, it is a mistake to refer to any piece of legislation to endorse your argument because they will throw you in police cell just to show that you are nothing with your learnt attitude when it comes to dealing with the police. What is strange is that the higher they rise through the ranks, the more sober they get; at least this is what they demonstrate in public.
Lately, apart from this attitude they have now added so many bad apples among them who are the leading instigators in most of the country’s violent armed robberies.
Enough of the opening; the reason I am talking about them today has to do with what I witnessed at Silver Stadium last Saturday when Jamaican international reggae superstar Luciano performed. Being what this artist is, the organisers hired numerous security service providers including our own police officers.
The gate fee for the ‘open stands’ was K8, 000 per head. Considering the country’s economic situation, this was extremely on the higher side and therefore the police officers took advantage.
The police were supposed to provide security and order by ensuring that the show had no gatecrashers as well as people who would breach peace.
But instead they were busy aiding gate crashing. This is how they were doing it in order to hoodwink the organisers manning the gates.
They would handcuff a few people, accusing them of breaking the law with someone who was already inside the show. Under the pretext that they want the apprehended guys to show them their accomplices inside, they would convince these organisers to let them pass into the show and those that were arrested would be left free once inside after paying K4000.
I know that the police officers are paid an allowance at the end of a show like this one and therefore while we cannot control greed sometimes, it is a shame when you find the police officers using the official apparatus for self enrichment.
Do you wonder why we will always question why our musicians are always toiling in vain? This is a good example of how not to engage police officers in events like these ones. But at what expense can this be achieved? I know how unruly patrons to these shows can be sometimes but do we really need to put more police officers to police them further to ensure that everything is orderly?
It is a pity when you consider how much Born African Production spent to bring into the country a music star of a stature of Luciano. He also brought alongside Luciano seven members of the All Nations Band and at least the charges would have alleviated the financial burden the firm suffered to achieve all this.
But well, our police being such champions of this kind of notoriety had a trick up their sleeves and decided to fleece Born African. What happened to an honest Malawi Police Service? Can the Malawi music really depend on the police if it has to achieve any progress at all?
Of course as I earlier indicated that these are just some bad apples, but … the Police should sober up their hardwired behaviour when it comes to public relations. They always think they can do anything and get away with it. If one tries to reprimand them whenever they are in the act of wrong doing, they always trump up charges in a very vindictive manner and where money is involved, the one who offers them more is always right.