Minister of Information and Communications Technology, Nicholas Dausi, and Mangochi Central legislator Clement Chiwaya (United Democratic Front-UDF) have appealed to Mangochi Town Council to suspend the impending ban on kabaza (bicycle transport) operations in the district.
The two made the appeal on Thursday at Mangochi Stadium where President Peter Mutharika officially commissioned the One Stop Service Delivery Centre also known as the Mlambe Centre.
The issue was first raised by Chiwaya, who appealed to the council to negotiate further with kabaza operators and not restrict them from operating in town.
“There has to be a better way of handling this issue. I feel banning kabaza from operating in town is killing the operators who solely rely on it for a living,” said Chiwaya, amid an applause from the crowd.
He continued: “My fear is that once kicked out of town to operate in the outskirts many, will fall redundant and they will turn into thieves and terrorise us.”
Later in his speech, Dausi underscored Chiwaya’s sentiments on the issue and the minister appealed to the town council chief executive officer Fanny Nsimuko to always consult before implementing issues.
The resolution to ban kabaza operators was discussed and endorsed by a full council meeting in February following increased road accidents around the town.
According to police records, most of the accidents were caused by kabaza operators carelessness.
The resolution, which was to be implemented from April 1, called for a ban on all kabaza operations on any tarmac road around Mangochi town.
Following Dausi and Chiwaya’s appeal, the kabaza operators on Thursday evening brought traffic to a standstill for some time as they took to the streets to celebrate ‘the victory’.