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Government still ‘helpless’ on road traffic system contract

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Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda

Attorney General Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda has disclosed that the road traffic system has been captured and vehicles with Malawi number plates continue being registered dubiously in South Africa.

Speaking when he appeared before the Transport Committee of Parliament, Nyirenda blamed the design of the contract for the Malawi Traffic Information System (Maltis).

“Taking into consideration the contracts the country entered in the past years, they will make the country poorer and poorer,” Nyirenda said.

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Among others, the system is used to register motor vehicles and issue certificates of fitness.

Nyirenda told the committee that despite the consultant calling for an amicable settlement so many times on the matter, nothing has happened.

During the meeting, member of the committee Shadreck Namalomba asked the Attorney General if there was a remedy to come out from such contract traps.

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Nyirenda proposed creation of one entity to be dealing with all government contracts.

On its part, Movesa (Motor Vehicle Spares & Accessories) which is a partner of the Maltis contractor, Fischer, on Thursday confessed to be helpless in moving Fischer which is based in South Africa to fully handover the system to the Malawi government.

Movesa Director Frederick Vitsitsi told the committee that Movesa has been making attempts to move Fischer to hand over the system.

The committee faulted Movesa and Fischer for dubiously registering Malawi vehicles in South Africa, thereby aiding importers to evade import duty.

According to Chairperson of the Transport Committee Uchizi Mkandawire, government did everything right as per contractual agreement but Fischer breached the contractual terms.

“Six years down the line, the system is not yet handed to DRTSS [Directorate of Road Traffic and Safety Service] and the South African consultant is controlling it from South Africa.

“This should be a lesson to government when it comes to contract negotiations,” Mkandawire said.

He said the committee will do its part to ensure that the system is back in the hands of Malawi government.

The K6.5 billion Maltis started being upgraded in 2015.

Maltis preceded the old system which was implemented in 1999. The previous system was too rigid to interface with other systems.

The upgraded Maltis was launched on May 27, 2015 and was expected to be handed over in June, 2017.

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