MALAWI leader, Bingu Mutharika has reportedly placed the intelligence security system in jeopardy by his need to get intelligence information from various sources and in most cases preferring relatives.
The media reports today that Mutharika appointed Brigadier Ngwenya as the chief security advisor operating from the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC).
Without hindsight, this has placed Brigadier Ngwenya in charge of all security matters, as even the Army Commander, the Inspector General of Police and the Director of State Intelligence Service (SIS) have to report to Mutharika.
But Brigadier Ngwenya or at least the brigadier will still have the final say, it is said.
According to the reports quoting security experts, this development has greatly compromised the existing security system because the brigadier, who is an expert in military intelligence, is now doubling with internal political and state intelligence.
“The appointment is rather confusing because the Army Commander who is Ngwenya’s boss has now to contain with a situation where his subordinate will vet his reports. In all circumstances and in terms of national security, the Army Commander and the Inspector General are the advisors to the President,” explained the security expert to the media.
Fears of this confusion would easily spill over into the operations of the intelligence systems in the Army and at Police, it further said.
“It seems there is confusion on who should get which information and the intelligence system as a whole has been hit further by a ‘virus’ of untrained intelligence operatives recruited by the President’s party, DPP,” confided the source.
Mutharika seems to have more confidence in reports cooked up by the untrained intelligence officers to the extent that raw reports generated by the political cadres are most relied upon than the professional reports.
When Mutharika came to power in 2004, he dissolved the then National Intelligence Bureau (NIB), dismissing others and transferred some to other departments.
He replaced it with SIS, comprising trained police intelligence officers, remnants of the NIB and relatives.