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Malawi President Reinstates Fired Army Commander

FILE - Malawi's President Lazarus Chakwera (L) and first lady Monica Chakwera depart following his inauguration at the Kamuzu Baracks, at Malawi Defense Force Headquarters, in Lilongwe, July 6, 2020.

Malawi's President Lazarus Chakwera has fired the army chief and replaced him with the commander who was dismissed in March by Chakwera’s predecessor, former president Peter Mutharika.

In his live address Tuesday on state broadcaster, Malawi Broadcasting Corporation, Chakwera said the sacking of Gen. Vincent Nundwe was not procedural.

“Although the former president had the ultimate responsibility for the Malawi Defense Force as the commander-in-chief and was vested with powers of appointment, it was improper to use such powers without cause. I have therefore redeployed Gen. Nundwe as commander of the Malawi Defense Force,” Chakwera said.

Mutharika fired Nundwe in March for allowing the military to protect demonstrators protesting the results of last year’s elections.

The Constitutional Court later annulled the elections and called for fresh polls, which were won by Chakwera in June of this year.

Chakwera said his decision to reinstate Nundwe is to restore justice to the operations of the Malawi Defense Force.

“In doing this, my purpose is to heal the injury and injustice of an unfair decision inflicted on our entire military as a professional institution," he said.

Chakwera also has announced he will soon convene a meeting of the Defense Council to discuss the appointment of the new deputy commander of the Malawi Defense Force and other key positions.