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Governmet to end Road Traffic woes

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VICE President Saulos Chilima told the media on Wednesday that government has devised a plan to end the challenges that have dogged services at the Directorate of Road Traffic and Safety Services.

He said a three-month strategy to ensure speedy processes at road traffic is now in place.

Chilima acknowledged that since the Malawi Transport Information System (Maltis), which helps in acquisition of driving licences, vehicles COFs was upgraded, operations in four centres of Lilongwe, Blantyre, Zomba and Mzuzu has been messy.

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“The first months have been encountered with challenges to do with human capacity, awareness and civic education which authorities are employing aggressive efforts to rectify,” said Chilima who said will also be renewing his driving licence using ordinary means soon.

Chilima also said the long queues and system delays have been a drawback but efforts are made to make sure that all offices have redundant links or install alternative network solution. The Veep said outcry in vehicle licence upgrades is a matter of people understanding the law.

“The law in 1997 Road Traffic Act states that a driver requiring an upgrade should be taken through a test for safety reasons,” he said.

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He also said they noticed that the banks are contributing to the queues, because of staffing but they have since been consulted and change will be effected soon.

In order to decongest the long queues he said government has come up with interventions as part of a three-month strategy to ensure that we speed up the process at road traffic:

“To decongest the two regional offices, auxiliary centres will be opened by end September in Blantyre and Lilongwe,” he said.

He also said there will be introduction of alternative payment solutions like the use of mobile money services and bringing on board of other commercial banks to speed up payment transactions.

Chilima also said soon they will recruit temporary ICT graduates to help boost human resource and at the same time help capacitate the existing employees.

The other change he said is that they will be positioning AntiCorruption Bureau staff right at the road traffic to speed up time taken to approve vehicle change of ownership as documents are first sent to ACB for verification.

Chilima also said that most of the times it is poor internet network that has greatly led to slow operations there and as a matter of improving the situation this period as they look for a long term solution they intend to install alternative network solution using fiber to have redundant links in Maltis network.

The directorate will also be installing power backup generators at all the seven centres including at the data centre. He said despite all these challenges, since the commissioning of Maltis, the Department has steadily recorded increased production and a decline in void applications has been registered.

Chilima also said that there has been an increase in revenue since all fees paid are going into government system as there are no loopholes for fraud.

He said the department has managed to combat corruption since Maltis requires one on one.

He also said as part of enforcement service they will roll out linkages between Traffic Police System with the Department of Road Traffic saying since the vehicle licences are automated all counterfeit documents will be exposed.

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