President Peter Mutharika has picked a former police officer, Elvis Thodi, a highly skilled and experienced security connoisseur, as the chief of the country’s spy agency, Nyasa Times can exclusively reveal.
Mutharika appointed Malawi Revenue Authority’s (MRA) head of administration and former Chief Immigration Officer, Thodi, to replace verbose Nicholas Dausi, who has since been appointed as Information and communication technology Minister, as the new head of National Intelligence Service (NIS) formerly National Intelligence Bureau (NIB)
Government sources have confirmed that Mutharika has behind closed doors hired Thodi to take care of state intelligence.
Impeccable sources at Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) have also confirmed that President Mutharika in exercise of the powers conferred upon him by Section 111 Sub-Section (2) of the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi has allotted the former Police Commissioner and director of research at the National Police Headquarters to be the new spy chief.
“We have been informed of Mr. Thodi’s appointment as the new director of the National Intelligence Service,” said the source.
Added the OPC source: “The appointment is with immediate effect and Mr. Thodi has already swung into full action at the state intelligence agency.”
Thodi was getting a handover at his new office the whole of the Friday afternoon.
Thodi was among the first university graduates to be enlisted into the then Malawi Police Force (MPF) and he alongside the likes of (fellow first graduates) former Inspector Generals; Loti Dzonzi and Oliver Kumbambe, former Deputy Police Chief, Doreen Mwalwanda, Police Commissioners, George Kainja and Duncan Mwapasa among others were directly involved in reforming the Malawi Police Force into a people-centred service with the help from the British police.
Thodi started his journey as a security professional at Police Training School (PTS) as a ‘Police Recruit’ after finishing his studies at the University of Malawi’s constituent college, Chancellor College in Zomba.
After ‘passing out’ from PTS, young Thodi’s hard work, dedication to duty and determination coupled with his university education helped him climbing the ladder of the police’s rank and file and rose to the top and was appointed the commissioner of police.
Thodi served as director of research and development in the Malawi Police and was based at the National Police Headquarters at Area 30 in Lilongwe. He was the focal point of the Malawi Police Reform Program.
Later, Thodi was appointed as the Chief Immigration Officer before being relocated to Malawi Revenue Authority as the head of administration.
UK-based Malawian Law expert and political and social commentator, Mfundisi Sunduzwayo Madise in an interview with Nyasa Times said Thodi’s appointment as the new head of the country’s intelligence agency, if it is true, then sanity has returned to the national intelligence outfit for at last a right person has been chosen for the job which for long has been in the wrong ‘hands.’
“If this is indeed true then I applaud the president for this appointment. I personally know Elvis Thodi as I was with him as a student at Chancellor College and I have seen him growing as a police officer and later saw him serving as a chief immigration officer. He is, without doubt, the best candidate for the position because he is an expert in security matters,” said Madise.
Madise added that state intelligence is very critical to how the country is run, and by appointing a professional person to head the intelligence unit is way much better than just appointing people for the sake of it.
“As an expert in security matters, (Elvis) Thodi will be able to tell which information is vital to feed the president and which information is chaff and therefore needs to be chucked into the bin,” said Madise.
Added Madise: “For a long time, our leaders have been fed and misled with lies, half-truths and denigration as intelligence and this is very dangerous. It is good that finally someone qualified is appointed to do the job they know.”