Review of “Guarding the Guardians: Auditing Security Sector Governance in Malawi”

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Chapter Review by Benson Makhuyula

Chapter 9: “Guarding the Guardians: Auditing Security Sector Governance in Malawi,”

by Dan Kuwali (pp. 220 – 241)

In this book chapter, Dan Kuwali, a Malawi law professor based in South Africa, makes an assessment of the security sector governance in Malawi with regard to the operational challenges faced by the national security organs. The national security organs in Malawi include the Malawi Police Service (MPS), the Malawi Defence Forces (MDF) and the National Intelligence Service (NIS). Kuwali’s assessment is made within the context of the National Security Policy (NSP) which was launched in March 2018. The NSP was intended to ensure professionalism, coordination and interoperability of all security organs in Malawi.

In his auditing, Kuwali makes two main observations about security sector governance in Malawi: that security institutions in Malawi operate more in silos than in an integrated way and that politics and not policy tends to guide the operations of security agencies in the country. Kuwali asserts that the work of security agencies in Malawi is marred by a lack of centralised coordination among security agencies themselves and also by a direct political control by politicians. The national security policy appears not to be religiously followed by national security agencies. Kuwali attributes this state of affair to failure by individual state security organs to formulate their own institutional policies. The NSP, Kuwali observes, is merely an umbrella policy covering all state security organisations in Malawi.

Kuwali finally calls for the holistic implementation of national security policy in Malawi which would include the civil society and the judiciary among numerous others.

While demonstrating his mastery of the subject matter, professor Kuwali presents his work in a very easy to understand language. The use of technical words is quite limited

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