By Melissa Makoto
Harare City Council received a visit by a delegation from the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development of Malawi to have an appreciation of local municipal police functions.
The delegation from Malawi comprised of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, City of Blantyre, City of Lilongwe and Muzuzu City.
In an interviewing with the press on Monday, the Secretary for Local Government and Rural Development Mr Kiswell Dakamau said the visit was to study how the municipal police work because they do not have it in Malawi.
“We studied the functions of the municipal police by basically looking at how it is performing because in Malawi we only have national police,” he said
“We also have noted that especially in our urban Councils the national police is overwhelmed and because of that, critical issues are not well tackled. By-law enforcement is very fundamental in as far as waste management is concerned to keep our cities clean. The issue of illegal vending needs to be policed to make sure that that our vendors are operating in designated areas.”
He also added that it was difficult for councils to secure national police assistance in times of need therefore they had to embark on introducing municipal police.
“In Malawi it is a challenge to secure assistance from the national police as they are overwhelmed so we have embarked on this journey to introduce municipal police in the four Cities in Malawi.”
The Harare Town Clerk Eng Hosiah Chisango said he was honoured to host the delegation as the learning process was reciprocal.
“We feel very honoured to host the delegation. We are sharing and helping each other on how to tackle some issues as we are facing almost same challenges on issues of traffic enforcement and illegal vending. In Zimbabwe, the municipal police takes care of municipal issues and when we fail that is when we invite the National police.”
He added that they would want to transform their municipal police to have arresting powers.
“We are looking forward to transforming our municipal police. Taking into account the the devolution coming, we are also expecting municipal to have arresting powers,” Eng Chisango said.