Malawi president sacks army chief

Peter Mutharika
Peter Mutharika

Malawi President Peter Mutharika on Tuesday fired the country’s Army Commander General Vincent Nundwe and his deputy Lieutenant Clement Namangale of their duties replacing them with new personnel, an official statement released on Tuesday evening.

According to the statement from the Office of the President and Cabinet, Mutharika has appointed Major General Andrew Lapken Namathanga as new Commander General of the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) and Brigadier General Davis Sesatino Mtachi, as Deputy. Mutharika has since promoted the two to the ranks of General and Lieutenant General, respectively, following the appointments. Until his appointment, Namathanga, was MDF’s Air Force Commander while Mtachi was Deputy Commander for Landed Forces.

The statement stated that the new appointments are with immediate effect, and that “Meanwhile, General Nundwe and Lieutenant General Namangale will be assigned other duties in the public service”. Mutharika has also promoted Brigadier General Elias Mpaso to Major General and Commander for Landed Forces replacing Major General Alick Bentry Mhone who has since been axed from the hierarchy. MDF Commander for Maritime Force, Brigadier Francis Blessings Kakhuta Banda, has maintained his role but he has since been promoted to the rank of Major General while his deputy, Colonel Richard Chagonapanja is now a Brigadier General.

Brigadier Ian Macleod Chirwa who was Deputy Air Force Commander is now a Major General and he has risen to a full Air Force Commander. Colonels Harrison Kandula and Desmond Chiwanda have been promoted to the rank of Brigadier General and the two are now deputy commanders for Air Force and Landed Forces, respectively.Mutharika’s shake-up at the MDF comes barely five days after he dissolved his cabinet Friday afternoon.

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