Pictures of Young MDF Soldiers Stir Debate


Yesterday Malawi Defense Force (MDF) welcomed at least 785 soldiers who graduated from the Malawi Armed Forces College (MAFCO) in Salima after underwent a 6 months intensive military training.

As the security department is celebrating to have boosted its strength in numbers of soldiers, mixed reactions have been voiced out from people saying most of the graduates’ soldiers are young who might not reach the required military qualifications.

Pictures are circulating on social media of the newly men and women in uniform whom some re seen to be underage probably 16 years falling with two years to reach 18 years of the required.

“Azikulira komko basi as far as they are within the required ages,” writes Gerlad Kampanikiza.

Giving his opinion one Rodgers Kadiso Banda said that’s a sign of corruption as the young soldiers cannot withstand during war.

“Zalowa chinyengo. These babies cannot stand heat if a rebel movement rises up or if Mozambique or Tanzania invade our soil. Child recruitment is a clear sign that MDF is losing substance. Bolanso Payoniya apa,” writes Banda.

While others are saying that the MDF is losing is substance, Ganizani Mulewa is questioning recruiting criteria.

“Why MDF having its own recruitment procedures different to other government departments. What I mean is selection criteria. We have never heard that tutors relatives have gone first to teaching training schools, Why MDF? Is it a sacred cow? I need to be schooled,” said Mulewa.

To clear the wind, under anonymous condition explained that these soldiers were recruited within the barracks and the majority are sons and daughters of serving soldiers.

“The serving men pushed the military command to enlist their wards before they themselves get retired. It was discovered that serving soldiers were having a lot of their children and dependents just staying idle who resorted to stealing and other immoral behaviors within the barracks,” said the anonymous.

The anonymous continued that most of the soldiers are young saying as young as 16 years of age were recruited with an aim of helping the serving members to have their children and relatives in the department.

Out of the 785 graduates, 602 are males and 183 females.

Onjezani Kenani questions “The question is: Was the military right to do what it did? So policemen should, as a matter of right, have their children recruited as policemen, prison and immigration staff the same. Is this the culture that is going to be introduced?”
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Flora Mitumba


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