Observers have cautioned government to move with caution and urgency in the ongoing fleet management of public vehicles so as to consolidate the quick wins and gains of public service reforms.
Government is said to have engaged some consultants to review management of its fleet and come up with recommendations that should greatly reduce the huge wastage of funds that comes about because of huge appetite of procuring expensive vehicles not befitting the country’s frail and troubled economy.
Interestingly, such vehicles which are purchased for senior officials in government including directors, principal secretaries and chief executives officers of parastatals, are eventually sold to the users at 10 percent of the actual price.
Malawi Economic Justice Network (Mejn) Executive Director, Dalitso Kubalasa, has observed that timing has been particularly wrong, against the set of priorities as a nation seeking proactive efficiency and effectiveness to trigger economic recovery.
“Most of those in these privileged positions that are requiring these new expensive vehicles do not actually consider this purchase of new vehicles or let alone the need for them to be offered to buy them later at a pittance of a price, as truly a need.
“Some of them are genuine patriots of integrity and achievers in their own right; who get truly embarrassed by such provisions and largesse,” Kubalasa said.
He said fleet management should be done in such a way that will help the country rationalise and be a bit more efficient for the betterment of all Malawians, who he said are confronted with the brunt of paying for the extravagance through taxes.
On his part, National Coordinator for Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP), Martin Chiphwanya, has said the thinking that it is easy for government to maintain the vehicles does not make economic sense.
“There is need for government to exercise high fiscal discipline on the issue of vehicles given the limited resources that the country currently has. We need to pay attention to issues of affordability and sustainability before thinking about purchasing expensive cars. It really does not make economic sense to spend more when the economy has stagnated,” Chiphwanya said.
Recently, government backtracked on its plans to purchase Toyota Prado TX for eight new commissioners of Malawi Electoral Commission saying it has no money.
President Peter Mutharika has also come under fire for buying a new luxurious top-of-the range Lexus SUV worth close to K100 million..
The consultant will be ready with the findings and recommendations by next month.
A vibrant writer who gives a great insight on hot topics and issues