Government has given Kabaza motorcycle operators six months to register their motorcycles, insure them and get driving licenses before police start enforcing the laws to impound unlicensed motorcycles.
Speaking at Area 30 National Police Headquarters in Lilongwe on Monday, a day before the law enforcers release the impounded motorcycles to the rightful owners, Minister of Homeland and Security, Hon. Richard Chimwendo Banda, said 206 people died on the roads of Malawi this year alone in motorcycle Kabaza accidents.
Hon. Chimwendo said last week alone, Kamuzu Central Hospital in Lilongwe was full of motorcycle accidents victims in the corridors.
“…Mpakana kumakhala modutsamo mmakonde, anthu angozi za njinga achuluka kowopsa…,’’ said Chimwendo.
He said Mzuzu is the same as Lilongwe where many Kabaza motorcycle accidents are reported to have happened, while Blantyre registered lower number of accidents as compared to the other cities, expressing hope that many operators will register their motorcycles before going on the roads of Malawi.
In his remarks, Inspector General of the Malawi Police Service [MPS], Dr. George Kainja said police confiscated about 20,000 motorcycles across the country saying most of them were claimed back by the owners after complying with all the requirements given to them by police.
Dr. Kainja said 7,821 motorcycles are in police custody across the country and these will be released to the owners stating each motorcycle has to be registered and insured, not carrying more than one passenger, have two helmets for both the operator and passenger and have a driving license.
Meanwhile, a Malawi Congress Party [MCP] diehard of Dowa, Mr. Rodgers Kamphangala has praised Government for giving Kabaza motorcycles six months and not 30 days as previously communicated saying this is a good example of a listening Government.
Kamphangala said such a decision if it was done in the first place before police started impounding or confiscating the motorcycles, there would not have reported incidents of residents joining Kabaza motorcycle operators in stoning police officers in some districts of the country including Balaka and Area 23 in Lilongwe.
He said the bold decision has been taken after things have turned sour between Kabaza motorcycles and Tonse Alliance Government making them to lose trust that their government is indeed the caring government.
“…I kneel before government to give Kabaza motorcycle operators National Economic Empowerment Fund [NEEF] loans so that they recover from sufferings they have for the months their motorcycles were impounded or confiscated by police, these people have been at home doing nothing, while government is giving loans to some people, let the Kabaza motorcycle operators be a priority number one to be assisted…,’’ said Kamphangala.
Kamphangala expressed fears that the motorcycles impounded by police were being kept in an open place exposed to sunshine and gathering dust, saying some of the motorcycles will not even move out of the police premises, they have developed mechanical faults due to staying at one place without moving, these will demand huge maintenance costs..
He is warning government that if these people whose motorcycles are not moving on the roads of Malawi not assisted, Government should be ready to confiscate many as they cannot meet the demands given to them.
By Vincent Gunde