Malawi: New Shake-Up At Malawi Army - Mutharika Appoints New Commander for Landed Forces

12 August 2019

President Peter Mutharika in his capacity as Commander-in-chief of Malawi Defence Force (MDF) has made changes to his appointments to a Tri-Service Commanders of MDF replacing Major General Alick Bentry Mhone as Army Commander ( Landed Forces) with his deputy Davis Sesatino Mtachi.

General Nundwe: Overall in charge of MDF

MDF spokesperson Major Paul Chiphwanya confirmed the development saying Mtachi has also been promoted from Brigadier General to Major General.

"As of last week there are some changes Bridagder General Mtachi was promoted to Major General and Army Commander ( Landed Forces)," Chiphwanya said on Times Radio.

No reasons were given for the removal of Mhone.

But Chiphwana said Major General Bentry Mhone remains chief of policy and plans at MDC.

He said Mtachi's deputy is now Elias Mpaso.

The President also appointed Major General Andrew Lapken Namathanga as Airforce Commander while Deputy Airforce Commander is Brigadier General Ian MacLeod Chirwa.

Brigadier General Francis Blessings Kakhuta Banda was appointed Maritime Force Commander with Colonel Richard Tobias Chagonapanja as Deputy Maritime Force Commander.

The Commander of MDF remains General Vincent Nundwe with Lieutenant General Clement Namangale as Deputy Commander.

Meanwhile, Nundwe has since said the appointment of the Tri-Service Commanders of MDF is in line with Section 4 of the Defence Force Act (2018).

General Nundwe said considering that MDF has soldiers operating on land, air and marine, there was need for special commanders for easy progress of work.

"Malawi has been following the old system but the issue in all countries is that they have commanders for specific roles. We have land forces--people operating on land-- others operating in the air and I, as a professional, know that there is no difference in terms of command or, indeed, that someone is going to develop power," he said in quotes reported by Daily Times.

General Nundwe said, under the circumstances, he remained the overseer of the defence force.

"I remain the same and our hierarchy remains the same, only that people are being put in various specialties instead of me dealing with all the three. In terms of funding, it will be going to those commanders so that they should not be coming to my headquarters asking for support," he said

Nundwe becomes the 13th MDF commander after he was appointed by President Mutharika on June 21.

The new MDF commander has served in several high profile positions within MDF and has promised that the army will maintain high professional standards, including being apolitical.

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