Attorney General (AG) Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda has expressed surprise that the Department of Road Traffic and Safety Service (DRTSS) is still running a contract with Movesa Fischer Consulting, which was supposed to have been terminated.
Nyirenda was reacting to reports of disagreement that has arisen between the private motors Vehicles Inspection Stations (VIS), an association of stations that are inspecting vehicles in the country and DRTSS over the issuance of Certificate of Fitness (COF) which is connected to the Malawi Traffic Information System (Maltis) which Movesa Fischer Consulting is running.
Malawi government contracted Movesa Fischer Consulting to develop Maltis in 2014 and VIS claimed the agreement was that the system was supposed to be handed over to the government a year later, but that has not happened.
On Monday, a VIS delegation appeared before the Parliamentary Committee on Transport and Infrastructure to present their grievances where several issues were raised, among them the continued involvement of Movesa Fischer Consulting, whose contract was supposed to have been terminated and also that DRTSS was supposed to hand over the role of issuing COFs to them while the directorate retains the role of a regulator.
Chakaka Nyirenda in an interview with The Daily Times confirmed that the contract was supposed to have been terminated.
“Road Traffic ought to have cancelled it [The contract] and the number plates which he [Movesa Fischer Consulting] ordered were not supposed to be used as they failed the MBS [Malawi Bureau of Standards] test. I am surprised that he is still supplying the number plates,” Nyirenda said, adding “Something is wrong somewhere and that is not right.”
During the meeting with the MPs, the private motor vehicle inspectors claimed that the Ministry of Transport in 2016 informed them of the intention to outsource the issuance of COF from the private sector.
They claim that it implied that DRTSS would only play a role of quality assurance and cease the issuance of COF, but the directorate was continuing to carry out this service in direct competition with their private sector partners.
Chairperson for Transport and Public Infrastructure Committee Uchizi Mkandawire said the committee would consult all the involved stakeholders to discuss the matter and map the way forward.
DRTSS spokesperson, Angelina Makwecha said the AG was in a better position to comment on the matter because DRTSS had referred it to his office.
Efforts to engage Movesa representatives for a reaction bore no response despite indicating on Whats App that the message was seen.
Mathews Kasanda is a journalist who holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from University of Malawi (The Polytechnic).
In 2015, Media Institute of Southern Africa awarded him the Best Print Media Education Journalist of the Year accolade.
He joined Times Group Newsroom in September 2019.