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Grace Chiumia changes tune on police vehicles

Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security, Grace Chiumia, has again shifted the arrival dates of 100 vehicles that are supposed to be distributed in the country’s police stations, after she promised the same in April this year.
However, some civil society groups in the Northern Region suspect Chiumia is lying about the purchase of the vehicles, arguing her response on the matter is political.
During a familiarisation tour, which the minister held in December last year at police stations, immigration and prison regional offices across the country, Chiumia told police officers that government has already purchased the vehicles from China and they were supposed to be in the country in January this year.
In February, the minister told The Daily Times that vehicles will arrive in the country by April this year.
She later argued that the delay was because the Chinese government was putting security sirens on the vehicles to meet modern police standards.
However, Youth and Society Executive Director, Charles Kajoloweka, said both the police and Malawians are currently losing trust in government in the said vehicles.
Kajoloweka then asked Chiumia to update Malawians in Parliament on the changes surrounding the arrival of the vehicles.
“Failure to be accountable on such public resources comes back to poor governance. Malawians are tired of corruption in government and they might feel something fishy is happening within the procurement process.
“Therefore, as Parliament is in progress, we demand official communication from the minister on the whereabouts of the vehicles.
However, Chimuia said the vehicles will be in the country by August this year.
“The Chinese Embassy has assured us that the vehicles will be in the country soon. The delay was because they were installing some security features and now they are conducting some modifications. I cannot lie, check on me in August,” Chiumia said.
Currently, Mzimba Police Station has gone for four months without a vehicle after the only one the station had was involved in an accident.
At a regional police meeting held in Mzuzu, recently, officers complained about mobility challenges.

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