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Editorial CommentOpinion & Analysis

Bring impunity to an end

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Laws in any country are there to ensure that citizens exercise their rights responsibly. They say every right has a corresponding responsibility. Exercising one’s rights without regard for limits put in place by lawmakers leads to chaos.

The advent of democracy in Malawi should have ordinarily meant a country with citizens who are responsible for safeguarding their own laws as they are the very foundation of good governance.

But it appears Malawians hate their own laws with a passion. They would rather do things the way they please without anyone reminding them about the need to be law-abiding.

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A case in point is that of some of our fellow countrymen who have chosen to drive vehicles without registred number plates or number plates bearing the name of President Peter Mutharika.

Such vehicles are a common sight on our roads. We wonder what these Malawians want to achieve by engaging in such an act. Are they up to anything good?

As bona fide Malawians, they could just be expressing their love for Mutharika. But, as Directorate of Road Traffic and Safety Services (DRTSS) has rightly observed, such acts are against the Road Traffic Act.

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We cannot agree more. Vehicle number plates are a must all over the world. And they need to be properly registered and not be personalised for political gains as in the case of Democratic Progressive Party operatives who drive around in cars with number plates such as ‘Adadi 1’, ‘APM 2019’ or ‘APM BOMA’.

One thing we are very sure of is that such vehicles do not belong to Mutharika. They belong to personalities who wish to take advantage of the President to break the law.

It is obvious that such vehicles cannot be stopped by our traffic police for routine checks for obvious reasons. In the case of vehicles without number plates, they cannot be identified in the case of a crime or a road accident.

We, therefore, appeal to the police and DRTSS to man up and bring this impunity and madness to an end. This has been happening since the days of the first multiparty president Bakili Muluzi.

Malawi should not entertain lawlessness. Impunity is a disease that is killing us. It must not be allowed to continue living in our midst.

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