Attempts by some former People’s Party (PP) officials to change ownership of party vehicles assigned to them have been thwarted by security provisions of the new Malawi Traffic Information System (Maltis), Nation on Sunday has learnt.
According to PP publicity secretary Ken Msonda, after being alerted by the Directorate of Road Traffic and Safety Services (DRTSS) about the illegal attempt, the party has since written DRTSS not to allow any change of ownership of any of its vehicles.
And following the development, the party has, through the help of the police recovered some vehicles from some of its former officials and is also set to repossess vehicles that are with party officials deemed inactive, hence not serving interests of the party.
In an interview on Wednesday, Msonda said the party moved in to stop DRTSS from changing ownership of its vehicles after Mzuzu DRTSS office alerted it that some people were trying to change ownership of the vehicles.
He could, however, not be drawn to give the number of vehicles and names of officials involved.
While Msonda said PP only has 15 vehicles, our sister newspaper Weekend Nation earlier established that as of November 2013, the party had 41 vehicles.
Asked how that was possible for the party to have 15 vehicles when there is information to the effect that one PP official donated 22 vehicles to the party, Msonda said: “These are some of the pledges that were made, but not fulfilled”.
Msonda said when the party was alerted by DRTSS, it discovered that ‘some of the officials’ that wanted to change ownership of the cars into their names were no longer PP officials.
According to Msonda, the party immediately wrote DRTSS on December 15 2015, advising it not to entertain any such transaction without written approval of the party leader, Joyce Banda.
Nation on Sunday visit to DRTSS offices at Ginnery Corner in Blantyre on Wednesday found the said PP letter, signed by Msonda, pasted in one of the offices.
Msonda said: “To all officials that quit the party, we demand them to return the cars immediately or they would be embarrassed if we resort to using police to recover our vehicles as we have already done in some cases.”
He said the party has also communicated to inactive party officials that are assigned party vehicles, to return the vehicles.
It was not clear whether the vehicles involved belonged to PP or Joyce Banda.
All three former democratic governments have been associated with shady acquisition of party vehicles with claims of all of them registering some of them in the party leader’s name. n