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Minister taken to task over police vehicles

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Some Members of Parliament (MPs) Thursday took to task Minister of Home Affairs, Grace Chiumia, over 100 vehicles that the Chinese Government promised to donate to Malawi for police stations.

Some members including Mzimba East lawmaker, Christopher Munyenyembe, asked for vehicles to ease police mobility in his area and Member of Parliament for Machinga East, Esther Jolobala, asked Chiumia to provide list of constituencies to benefit from the donation.

But Machinga Likwenu MP, David Lali, questioned how the promise of 2014 keeps on coming and why the government continues planning on other countries.

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Chiumia promised that the vehicles would be in the country by the end of December 2016.

In her response to the questions, Chiumia said the promise was made in 2015 and not in 2014 as Lali had said.

She called on the legislators to exercise patience on the vehicles.

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“Last time we asked the Chinese Government officials they said they were fixing sirens on those vehicles and being another government we have no other way but to wait for them. They said they will be able to deliver them [vehicles] between January and March this year. We need to exercise patience on this,” Chiumia said.

She said the government has plans to purchase some vehicles but the economic situation is not permitting.

“The MPs should also support their constituencies using their own resources and constituency development funds,” she said.

According to Chiumia, the country is in need of 500 motor vehicles to satisfy all the vehicle needs within the police service.

Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, Jean Kalilani rose and provided another version of the delays, saying China was ready to send vehicles but they wanted to send small saloon vehicles but the government asked for vehicles that would survive the terrain.

“It takes time to fit what we requested and considering that it is another government, we just have to wait,” Kalilani said.

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