Malawi president creates new position for fired military chief

16:44, July 24, 2011      

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Malawi President Bingu Wa Mutharika has created a new position for the country's former military chief, barely a day after firing him from the Malawi Defense Force (MDF).

"The State President, in accordance with his constitutional powers, has appointed retired General Marko Chiziko as the National Security Advisor with effect from today, July 23, 2011," announced the state owned broadcaster, Malawi Broadcasting Corporation quoting a statement released by the Office of the President and Cabinet.

The position of National Security Advisor, which Chiziko has assumed has just been created as Malawi Government has never had such a position ever since.

President fired Chiziko from the MDF on Friday evening but no reason for his sacking was given by the Office of the President and Cabinet.

The announcement for General Chiziko's sacking was also made on MBC.

"The Office of the President and Cabinet has announced that President Bingu Wa Mutharika has appointed Brigadier General Henry Odillo as new commander of the Malawi Defense Force replacing General Marko Chiziko," stated the MBC.

The state broadcaster said Odillo had therefore been promoted to full general and that his appointment was with effect from July 22.

Chiziko has been commander of the Malawi Defense Force since 2004 when Mutharika assumed the country's presidency.

The Office of the President and Cabinet, however, did not provide any reasons for the change of leadership in the country's military, although commentators linked Chiziko's sacking to the July 20 anti-government mass demonstrations in which the military was called in to assist the police bringing order on the streets of major cities of Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu.

The demonstrations, which were organized by Malawi's civil society groups in protest of recent government economic and governance policies, however, turned tragic when the police tried to stop the crowds from conducting the demonstrations and a total of 18 people were killed in the process.

Source: Xinhua
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