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Attorney General hooks movesa in smuggling scheme

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NYIRENDA—Vehicles are being dubiously registered in South Africa

Attorney General (AG) Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda has accused Malawi Traffic Information System (Maltis) developer, Movesa and Fischer Consultant, of dubiously registering Malawi vehicles in South Africa and aiding importers to evade import duty.

Nyirenda has since disclosed that his office will commence litigation against the consultant.

“Through the system’s breach, vehicles are being dubiously registered in South Africa by the contractor’s employees before they are driven into Malawi to evade the payment of excise and import duty,” Nyirenda told The Daily Times.

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The AG further explained that his office started engaging Movesa to hand over the Maltis system in May this year because the contract provides room for discussions and mediation before commencement of litigation.

He, however, said the dates for handing over the system and the source code expired; as such, his office has been “forced to commence litigation”.

“The Movesa and Fischer Consortium debacle is a lesson to us all. By the way, we gave a contract to Movesa to do with ICT [Information and Communication Technology] when Movesa has no ICT expertise. Movesa was just ‘dobadoba’ [middleman] who skirted the market for an ICT expert and got Fischer from SA. Fischer was also just a briefcase ICT firm,” explained Nyirenda.

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When contacted on Monday, consultant at Movesa and Fischer Consultant, Gerrit Fischer, said the Department of Road Traffic and Safety Services (DRTSS) requested that no response be given to newspaper journalists.

Fischer, however, said the claims allegedly made by the AG cannot be published without including a response from the party against whom such unsubstantiated claims are allegedly made.

“DRTSS advised that the proposed response on the matter will be cleared by them tomorrow and you will be provided with a copy of the response,” Fischer said in a written response.

Last month, Vehicles Inspection Stations Association claimed that private operators were being disadvantaged because Movesa was demanding payment for connecting them to Maltis.

DRTSS Director Andrew Sandula told the Parliamentary Committee on Transport last week that there have been efforts to take over the system and that the matter was also being handled by the AG.

The Government of Malawi contracted Movesa and Fischer Consultant to develop Maltis in 2015 and part of the agreement was that the system be handed over to the government by 2017.

The contractor has, however, not handed it over since then.

Recently, the Parliamentary Committee on Transport and Infrastructure also stressed the need for the government to take control of the system.

Committee Chairperson Uchizi Mkandawire raised fears that the consultant might decide to tamper with the system and, in the worst case scenario, switch it off.

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