UNDP Malawi, in partnership with the Malawi Police Service (MPS) conducted an Officer In-Charge of Stations training to build the capacity of police officers in electoral security management.
The two-day training was conducted to ensure that preventive measures are in place to curb political violence and protect citizens to exercise their civil and political rights before, during, and after the 2019 tripartite elections.
The opening ceremony of the event was graced by the Inspector General of Malawi Police Service, Mr. Rodney Jose, His Excellency Steinar Egil Hagen, Norwegian Ambassador to Malawi and Zambia, and the UN Resident Coordinator, Ms. Maria Jose Torres.
In his speech, the Inspector General of Malawi Police, Rodney Jose said that “recent events appear to strongly suggest that this year’s elections may pose a challenge to the democratic landscape of Malawi. If not properly handled, pockets of verbal and physical political violence that have characterized the current electoral period can stir unrest in the country. It is the role of the police to protect the integrity of the electoral system and protect Malawians.”He also expressed his optimism that the training will allow officers to conduct their duties professionally.
‘Through these series of trainings, the police officers at all levels will attain the knowledge, skills and attitudes that will be useful for the electoral management in the forthcoming tripartite elections. This will help police officers to protect the integrity of the electoral process,” said the Inspector General, Mr. Rodney Jose
The Norwegian Ambassador to Malawi and Zambia, His Excellency Steinar Egil Hagen stated that peaceful elections and a competent police service go together.
‘For elections to be peaceful you need security. And for there to be security you need competent police officers who are knowledgeable about electoral security management” stated Mr. Hagen.
The UN Resident Coordinator, Ms. Maria Jose Torres, emphasized the important role that police officers play before, during and after the elections.