Francis Kasaila fails to renew licence


Transport and Public Works Minister Francis Kasaila on Thursday endured over seven hours in the queue at the Blantyre Road Traffic and Safety Services (RTSS) offices in a bid to renew his driver’s licence but failed to do so due to systemic problems.

Ironically, Kasaila has been in the forefront of voices backing the newly introduced Malawi Traffic Information System (MalTIS) which has received wide condemnation from various sectors of the society for being unnecessarily too slow and tedious.

Sporting a long-sleeved shirt which he folded and a pair of blue denim jeans with black sports shoes, the simple looking Kasaila remained unnoticed at the department’s offices for about three hours as he processed, at least up until The Daily Times crew sought his audience when his presence suddenly stirred excitement.


“From the process I have gone through, the system is very efficient. To get my biometrics done, I had 25 people ahead of me, it took me 30 minutes to get to the table which means it took about one and a half minute to serve a person,” said Kasaila.

In an interview late afternoon after leaving the premises where he had sneaked in at around 8 am, Kasaila confirmed of the challenges that he met in the process of trying to have his drivers licence renewed.

“Of course I managed to do the registration part by 11:30 in the morning and left to have lunch. When I returned I was supposed to have my eyes tested but unfortunately I could not undergo one of the two components of the process as the optician was away in Zomba so I had to leave around 3 pm,” he said.


Kasaila said this created some queues at the offices.

However, Kasaila was dug in his heels when asked whether the new system was to be maintained following complaints from the general public.

“There were long queues at the bank kiosk where people make payments , hence the need for the bank to expand the kiosk. My ministry will consider opening another DRTSS branch within Blantyre to reduce congestion.

“We need to differentiate between the system and the human being managing the system. Most officers need training. They have been around for many years and are taking time to enter data but we cannot just fire them to get young people who are conversant with computers,” said Kasaila.

The minister’s remarks are in sharp contrast to what a chorus of voices calling for the scrapping of the new MalTIS have been saying blaming the new system for not only complicating things but also not being cost effective.

When The Daily Times visited the RTSS offices yesterday morning, Kasaila was swallowed into a frenzy of service-seeking Malawians who had converged at the office as it has been the trend for the past months.

Earlier, the RTSS boss had assured Malawians that the new system would cut the time for processing to less than an hour, a feat that has proved to be a far-fetched dream thus far.

Some RTSS officials told The Daily Times in confidence that the minister had sampled what people had been complaining about and should have learnt a lesson from the same.

Last Saturday, Bishop Martin Mtumbuka of Karonga Catholic Diocese called for a review of the MaITIS system describing it as an insult to Malawians.

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