He was speaking today during officer cadets commissioning parade at Malawi Armed Forces College (MAFCO) in Salima.
Chakwera said institutions of the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) have been suffering due to neglect and this has left them saddled with great operational and administrative handicaps.
He then pledged the kind of government support to the Malawi Defence Force that will guarantee the effective discharge of its constitutional mandate.
“My Administration is also committed to improving your living conditions so that they are commensurate with the services you render to country and citizen alike. In saying this, I have in mind, for example, the housing deficiencies you endure, which is why three days ago I launched a project to construct 10,000 decent houses for the Malawi Defence Force and other security institutions.
“This project is only the beginning, for my administration has others in the pipeline, such as the construction of another barracks at Meru in Chitipa District and the establishment of a Military Camp in Bandawe, Nkhata-Bay,” said Chakwera.
He added that his administration is committed to continue supporting the Malawi Defence Force towards the realization of its vision of being an appropriately sized, highly trained, and suitably equipped military force.
“It is along these lines that we will continue providing resources to ensure that the Defence Force not only recruits and trains more personnel, but also undergoes a modernization process,” he said.
Chakwera, who is also Commander in Chief of the MDF, commended the MDF for the conduct of its soldiers during peacekeeping operations worldwide and for the critical role played by the Malawi Defence Force in protecting the civil liberties and constitutional rights of hundreds of thousands of Malawian citizens who took to the streets to protest the May 2019 Presidential Election results.
He said the the success of the Malawi Defence Force stems, in large part, from the resolve of those in its ranks to remain apolitical.
“Your clear demonstration of ideological neutrality and non-interference in domestic politics have been key components of our effective system of Democratic Control of the Armed Forces.
“In practice, this means that neither the Malawi Defence Force as an institution, nor its leaders attempt to influence domestic politics, no more than they abide any attempts by politicians themselves to interfere in the discharge of their duties. It is this that has given the MDF its welldeserved accolade as the People’s Army,” he said.
To the new soldiers, the Malawi leader said they should uphold the legacy of MDF which is an institution that enjoys international acclaim as one of the most disciplined and professional forces in the world.