The Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security has failed to meet the deadline which it promised police officers across the country that it will distribute 100 new vehicles to the police by December last year.
During a familiarisation tour to all four police regions in the country in November last year, Minister of Home Affairs, Grace Chiumia, and her deputy, Aggrey Masi, said that the vehicles were in transit and would be in the country and by January 1, police stations would have received the vehicles.
However, Chiumia said they have missed the deadline because the Chinese Government is yet to finish installing some accessories to the vehicles.
“The vehicles are almost ready, only that our Embassy in China formally told us that the Chinese Government was installing sirens and other security accessories. Remember that these will be modern vehicles and it will minimise the mobility challenges for our officers,” Chiumia said, adding the vehicles will be in the country before March this year.
When asked how much the vehicles have cost and what the mode of payment would be, Chiumia referred us to the Principal Secretary in the ministry Beston Chisamire.
However, efforts to speak to Chitsamire proved futile as he was not responding to his mobile phone.
During the Northern Region tour of the Minister of Home Affairs, Commissioner of Police for the region, Martha Simfukwe, told the minister that the region is operating with few vehicles that are old. She said the vehicles are draining the institution’s resources due to frequent repairing.
Simfukwe said the entire region is supposed to have over 30 vehicles if it is to conduct its operations normally but now it has less than 20 at the regional headquarters and stations.
She said in many police stations, they have only one old vehicle and sometimes the challenge prevents them from providing some services.
The Daily Times observed that Mzuzu Police Station has two vehicles, catering the whole Mzuzu City and neighbouring areas of Enukweni, Kadekeshi, Mtwalo and close to Kawalazi in Nkhata Bay.