A quick u-turn by Minister of Transport and Public Works Malison Ndau to enlist the support of President Peter Mutharika in resolving the never-ending woes at the Directorate of Road Traffic and Safety Services (DRTSS) which has waded deep into crisis over monopoly issues, has invited a host of questions as to what the State will do to clean up the sector once and for all.
In an interview on Tuesday while confirming to have slackened his stand to bust the Movesa/Autotec hegemony at DRTSS, Ndau maintained that he still has questions over the deal and gave a two-month time frame to correct the mess at the institution.
The sudden change of heart has moved the chairperson for Malawi Human Right Consultative Committee (HRCC) Robert Mkwezalamba to demand an immediate re-evaluation of the situation by involving watchdogs such as the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to investigate thoroughly.
“It is surprising how the minister changed tune on this issue. It leaves the public speculating as to what may have been done under the table. The minister raised people’s hopes that the situation would be normalised before he said there was nothing wrong. The issue at DRTSS borders on people’s right to access various basic necessities. People’s rights are being violated because they are being denied the right to be assisted on time due to inefficiency at DRTSS,” he said.
Mkwezalamba, therefore, called for a swift review of the tendering process involving the current service providers adding that if reforms were to be given a good name, there was need to transfer skills from the South African consultants currently at the establishment to local officers.
But Ndau who has given two months as a timeframe for putting the DRTSS house in order starting this week denied that government lacks political will to decisively deal with problems at rocking DRTSS.
“Sometimes people do things without giving it a thorough thought. Things were done haphazardly. I am not stopping my efforts to put things in order at DRTSS. That is why I am meeting various stakeholders to find a solution for this problem. I should have already met the President but he was tied up. We are not protecting anyone here. This issue started way back and there was a change of government in between. In my view, these problems started because decisions that were made did not consider problems that would come out in the future,” he said.