President and Cabinet (OPC) has ordered Malawi Police Service (MPS) to impound from the country’s roads all government vehicles not undertaking duties relating to the May 21 Tripartite Elections.
This follows alleged unwillingness by heads of some ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to release the vehicle to be used during the elections. The order is with effect from yesterday.
In a circular signed by chief secretary to the government Lloyd Muhara, only vehicles that are holding exemption letters will be spared from the impounding.
“Let me also warn some senior officials who tend to hide vehicles in garages during this period to desist from that unpatriotic behaviour and that if caught disciplinary action will be taken against them,” reads the circular dated May 6 2019.
The communication has been forwarded to all controlling officers and heads of departments, all chief executives of parastatals and city councils, all district commissioners and inspector general of Malawi Police Service.
In March 2019, Muhara requested all principal secretaries, chief directors, heads of independent constitutional bodies and chief executives of parastatals to release vehicles under their charge to be used during the election exercise.
However, the chief secretary has said while there is positive response from some, he had noted lack of cooperation from others.
Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) said this week, it was facing a shortage of 450 trucks for the distribution of election materials nationwide, ahead of the polling day.
The commission requires 2 140 vehicles for the whole exercise out of which 600 are trucks needed for the distribution exercise, which starts next Tuesday. However, Treasury has swiftly released K400 million to the electoral body to hire 400 trucks.
In the May 20 2014 Tripartite Elections, transportation of materials was a challenge in most areas, leading to rescheduling of the voting period beyond the 6pm closing time.