Minibus owners fault corrupt traffic police officers
At a time when the Government through Members of Parliament is working to prohibit Bongo Mazda and Vannete minibus from carrying people, the Minibus Owners Association of Malawi (MOAM) has hit back at the government for not formulating any measures to address its chronic corrupt traffic police officers.
Speaking in an Interview with The Malawi Star, one of minibus owners said most of the traffic police have bought their own minibuses using the money made in this unscrupulous way.
He said failure by the Government to have “plans, roadmap and policy” when it comes to tackling the problem has made officers fail to do their right duty and engage themselves in dirty activities.
“Traffic police officers have reached saturated point, there is the need to immediately introduce measures, and parallel work since officers are benefiting more than minibus owners.”
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, the source added that Government should acknowledge its mistakes for failing to control its underpaid civil servants rather than playing a blame game.
“Politicians have a responsibility to govern better instead of blaming others. Government should teach its watch dogs work disciplines and ethics. They have stolen from us and this time we are calling the shots. We are engaging our drivers to report any traffic police officers demanding payoffs on the road.
“National traffic management plan, better coordination of road works and an improved public transport have all failed to appear. Traffic police officers are now a huge inconvenience to people and businesses, creating economic difficulties in the country,” decried another minibus owner, who also opted for anonymity.
Further findings by publication have revealed that traffic police officers demand MK 2000 from speeding minibus operators to let the driver free, and in return, no receipt is offered.
In his remarks, MOAM chairperson Christopher Chisesela said the honeymoon for the corrupt traffic officers is over.
He confided that the association is setting up a strong legal team to defend the minibus operators whenever issues like these arise.
According to Chisesela, once an officer has been found involved in the scenario, legal procedures will follow.
“We are working on setting up a permanent legal team that will deal with any scam by the police. Actually all operators from all regions have been tipped on these outstanding issues.”
“Drivers will have to report to the association and our legal team will take the issue to court. These police are driving good cars out of our sweat. The money our minibuses make is shared with them.”
The Malawi Police Service is one of the most underpaid sectors in the country. Almost all of the security enforcers survive throughout a month on money attained in a corrupt manner.
This situation has only worsened as the economy continues to stumble and government fails to make changes to shore it up.
For now, the minibus operators will continue to operate, but it’s “Traffic Police Beware.” It may soon be the police officers that find themselves on the wrong side of the law.