Bicycle taxi (kabanza) operators in Mzuzu City have heaped blame on the Malawi Police Service (MPS) in the region for rekindling unemployment following an ongoing operation whose aim is let out bicycles in Mzuzu’s central business district.
Several operators who talked to Nyasa Times on Thursday said police were taking too long before “releasing” their bicycles.
“They just keep the bicycles at their offices forgetting that some of us earn a living from them,” complained Mphatso Kondowe who plies his business around Katoto Township.
According to him, the bicycles are sometimes kept away from them for as long as five months.
“But that will be even after we’ve paid the fines,” said Kondowe. “Most of us just stay, and it is the same people [government] who will also blame us for being unemployed.”
Another operator, Mathews Mawaso, admitted to Nyasa Times that it was three months now since his bicycle was picked up but he has not yet been given back.
“And yet I’ve a family and responsibilities to take care of,” said Mawaso.
Mzuzu Police publicist Maurice Chapola confirmed their office keeping “a lot of bicycles” but referred Nyasa Times to the Officer-in-Charge at Mzuzu who was not in her office as we went to press.
But he hinted the impounding was being done because of “wrong parking” and “unprofessional” riding of the bicycles.
More than 300 bicycles taxis have been dumped to rust at Mzuzu Police Station, Nyasa Times confirmed.
Mzuzu based barrister Christone Ghambi of CHRAM & Associates said there was “nothing wrong” with what police were doing.
According to Ghambi, the Road Traffic Act (Sec 181-182) mandates the Minister to make by-laws to control the “conduct of drivers and vehicles including bicycles to protect the public from accidents.”
But Ghambi said taking too “long” to release the bicycles was “unlawful” according to section 28(2) which stipulates that “no person shall be arbitrarily deprived of property.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :