The booming business in the country
* As Govt to give back confiscated motorcycles free of charge
* Almost all of these riders operate illegally as they are trained by themselves and do not use helmets
* They have been given 30 days to register their motorbikes and have two helmets for the operator and customer passenger
By Duncan Mlanjira, Maravi Express & Tiwonge Kumwenda Mhango, Contributor
Malawi Police Service Inspector General, George Kainja has warned his officers from uttering political utterances to Kabaza motorcycle taxi operators when they are discharging their duties.
Kabaza riders misbehave on the public roads as most of them flout traffic roads with impunity, prompting the police to take appropriate measures on them.
Almost all of these riders operate illegally as they are trained by themselves; do not use helmets; cut in front of motorists willy nilly; don’t have indicators and fail to use hand signals.
There have been a lot of accidents that involved Kabaza riders that led to death of innocent passengers as well as maiming them for life — thus the police taking serious actions on them — which unfortunately is being applied by harassing them.
In a communique issued on June 30, IG Kainja indicates that Police Headquarters in Lilongwe has “noted with concern that some officers are harassing the Kabaza motorcycle riders during enforcement of laws and bylaws governing the use of motorcycles on public roads”.
“Some officers have been heard telling Kabaza riders ‘munavotera nkhaza zimenezi (you voted a government that is instructed the officers to harass you).
“This kind of unprofessionalism will not be tolerated. You are advised to be enforce the law firmly, politely and professionally without attaching any politics to it.
“You are also warned to refrain from irresponsible utterances which can incite public anger and violence.”
The IG further warns that once any officers is discovered to have uttered “bad words to Kabaza riders or harassing them in any way, stringent disciplinary measures” shall be enforced on them.
Meanwhile, the Government has announced that it will give back all motorcycles that the law enforcers have been confiscating from Kabaza operators in the Capital City of Lilongwe on free of charge.
Minister of Homeland Security, Richard Chimwendo Banda disclosed the development in Parliament on Thursday morning, saying they will proceed with the exercise Tuesday next week.
“The Ministry of Transport has already arranged that the motorcycle operators must be trained on how to use the road to avoid the accidents that have been happening,” Chimwendo Banda said in the august House.
Hefurther announced that the Ministry of Transport has negotiated with a local non-governmental organization to train the Kabaza operators at a lower fee of K20,000 from K150,000 and that they will be given 30 days to register their motorbikes and have two helmets for the operator and customer passenger.