Twist to Malawi vehicle CoF services outsourcing from private garages

Corrupt government officials at the Road Traffic Directorate and the parent Ministry of Public Works have devised a scheme where an investor has been roped in to monopolize vehicle inspection for issuance of certificate of fitness (CoF) as the directorate will offload this function to private garages and dealers in November with an aim of ripping off unsuspecting motorists while benefitting the investor on one hand and the unscrupulous officials on the other, Nyasa Times can reveal.

Motorists will no longer have to queue at the Department of Road Traffic and Safety Services (DRTSS) for vehicle inspection for issuance of certificate

Motorists will no longer have to queue at the Department of Road Traffic and Safety Services (DRTSS) for vehicle inspection for issuance of certificate

In October 2014, Road Traffic Diretorate invited expressions of interest from private garages and motor vehicle dealers to participate in the programme and that the successful garages will be granted a five-year licence with subsequent renewals for a two-year period.

Reports are rife to the effect that a preferred investor, who is a Malawian of Asian origin, is constructing a vehicle inspection facility with an assurance that they will be given the contract to run the COF service on behalf of government.

According to an impeccable source within the Road Traffic Directorate, a Malawian of Asian origin that runs a spare parts shop named MOVESA is alleged to be behind this clandestine development together with senior government officials who have been incorporated as shareholders in this sinister scheme.

However, Director of Road Traffic Directorate Jacques Manonga played down the report and said that as faras he is concerned his department has already asked PVHO to take over the function because they have enough facilities to carry out such functions.

Manonga in a guarded monologue wanted to find out where Nyasa Times got the story, before saying that there is no story because his department is already in talks with PVHO to take over the COF function.

“Whilst the idea of improving vehicle inspection standards and improving access to such important service to the public are welcome, the approach to create a monopoly is a dangerous one because such services are regulatory and protected by law and therefore any chargeable fees determined by such monopoly will be imposed on the general public because the investor is bound to charge more to have a return on the investment,” said the source.

The source said the prime objective of vehicle inspection service is to ensure road worthiness and safety and not necessarily revenue generation.

“Imposing unacceptable fees is counterproductive because the fees are most likely beingexorbitant and unaffordable to the public. The situation will culminate in high default rate and render the entire the COF function useless. This may likely increase road carnage as people will shun vehicle inspection,” added the source.

Speaking in an interview Malawi Congress Party (MCP) legislator Alekeni Wodala Menyani who is also Chairperson of the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee said PVHO can be an ideal institution to handle such services.

“I am surprised that government is contemplating outsourcing such an important service to a private investor whose aim is to make money instead of using a government owned institution such as PVHO which have workshops in each and every district of the country and are on the verge of collapse because of underutilization. Something is not adding up here,” said Menyani.

However, the source said, PVHO needs to put its house in order because they are stories of resistance to change which are hampering its own improvement.

“Transferring this function to PVHO will give this apparently dormant government institution some work to do in addition to the services they are providing. However, if not properly done it will also be transferring corruption from Road Traffic to PVHO. But PVHO will need government support in this endeavour to build the needed capacity,” said the source.

The source further said: “The benefits of giving this service to PVHO by far outweighs the risks of creating a monopoly in private sector which will focus on enriching itself than providing meaningful service to the motorists who are already complaining about high and arbitrary Road Traffic fees.”

As Nyasa Times is reporting this it is alleged that MOVESA have already built an inspection facility in Lilongwe near Kamuzu Central Hospital to capitalize on the government’s move.

Efforts to hear MOVESA’s side of the story hit a snag as the owners of the firm were playing hide and seek with this reporter.

“It is ironic that a regime can allow subjecting its citizens to such exploitation while it claims to be a caring government. Such maneuvers which are aimed at taking advantage of poor motorists should not be condoned. It will be surprising if authorities will pass such regulations at the expense of the country’s poor. The authorities should learn to listen to the voice of reason and refrain from privatizing essential regulatory service like COF in the name of outsourcing to greedy individuals or unscrupulous firms,” said the source.

He further said this will have a long term impact on the country’s Road Traffic safety as compliance by the general public will be compromised by high default rate.

According to Road Traffic Directorate spokesperson Chisomo Chibwana the provision to outsource private garages is provided in the Road Traffic Act 1997.


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26 thoughts on “Twist to Malawi vehicle CoF services outsourcing from private garages”

  1. Mosehliwa says:

    If the govt have run of ideas the right way is to ask the people through other to hear how they can help generate info on various issues nt just bringing in these issues which are tarnishing the image of the Lhomwe left and right.

  2. mzee says:

    A Director A RTSS A Manong’a amupatsa movesa ife tikuwadziwa bwino

  3. chingolopiyo says:

    I wonder why others are mourning here. We have cry babies in Malawi. To be honest, this is the right move in the right direction. The Road Traffic is not a place to go and line up to get the COF. The COF should be given to competent garages, not only PVHO to help out eradicating cars that are not road worthy. Most accident in Malawi are caused by failure to be fit for purpose. Let the system be revamped and connected to Malawi Police so that those that have no COF should be taken out. Furthermore the system should be computerised to reduce forgery, and corrupt practices. Lets have the UK system where cars are certified fit for purpose or be scrapped, and its done by private garages not the government. All vehicles with no valid COF should not be insured. It has been so bad to see cars passing COF yet the car is parked home. Cheating does not pay. Malawians, let be serious in this issues, so that we can reduce unnecessary death on the road.

  4. Surveyor says:

    lets be realistic here, this system is very acceptable and let it be in the system, we could cancel all our assignment is there is an issue of COF

  5. Kavuluvulu says:

    Boma la a LHOMWE kuba basi.Alibe ndi chisoni ndi anthu awo.

  6. Kadansana Phiri says:

    That’s what we chose for ourselves through adopting and entrenching regionalistic politics.

  7. Wawa says:

    We dont want the so called MOVESA or Stecelia. We want PVHO to perform independently.


  8. jaan says:

    Movesa at it again they do have huge bellies

  9. benjnes says:

    these asians are criminals why are we still supporting them they have ruined our country, our respect. I know of this asian from royal motors he is so crook oh my god. he also runs a garage with unqualified and illitrate fellow asians, who call our fellow malawians monkeys, please dont ever give him any tenders…………..please dont be corrupt think of our children

  10. REX MSISKA says:

    Oh gone are the days when i was proud that malawians were the most disciplined in Africa. Well, may be because it was one party state, run by a man who could tell the difference of right and wrong and ruthlessly deal with the wrong doers. If this is the only way some malawians would respect the rule of law, so be it. As a nation we are not progressing in positive things at all, but we progress in all negative things. We are becoming unfriendly, corrupt, selfish individuals, beggars, poorly qualified and a lot more. Shame.

    I grew up in an area called Thabilo and went to Thabilo Primary School which had qualified teachers in all subjects. In this age the school has two teachers. Is this the way our leaders understand multi party government? In 2015 now, can we say we are progressing? How do our leaders lift their heads up in the UN gatherings? We had reference books for all subjects.

  11. The best way is to give PVHO the only thing PVHO needs to be reformed why MOVESA Always. I suspect some big official from Road traffic are behind

  12. The real ujeni says:

    Malawi was sold to Asians of Indian origin for a while. They control our economy, our politicians and they even give half cast babies to silly Malawi girls just for money. As long as this is not reversed, Malawi will remain poorest in the world for a very long time and the world will continue to laugh at us as the most stupid black people in Africa. Dzuka Malawi dzuka!

  13. hippo says:

    There bloody asians who own Movesa are corrupt they must be investigated they dont pay tax for their expensive goods.Idiots

  14. Dr Kaunde says:

    Makutu anu mbooollllli zanu nyiiiiinaroz zanu fu……k u. Timvaso kuti Mulli ali momo. Anyapapi mwatikwana mwamva mapwaaaaala anu.

  15. John says:

    Nyasa is not very far from the truth. The is about the system RTD is implementing now was supplied through MOVESA and the other partner. These guys are getting huge sums like those in the number plate syndicate. The white guys you at road traffic are implementing the system do that these guys can get money.

  16. Sure says:

    PVHO is ok but i wonder why the same PVHO was sending government vehicles to another unqualified mechanic to service the cars at its expense and yet they were sharing monies. Isnt this car gate? Stecelia Motors was servicing cars brought by PVHO and cheques were issued and shared the monies. Why Stecelia? Find out, no qualified mechanics there at all and without qualifications. The manager is a standard 6 chap, brother to the form 4 owner. Shame.

    PVHO is govt, hence need to serve the citizens without being attached to other garages kuti mudzibelapo ndalama za boma. Watch out!

  17. Chimwemwe Banda says:

    The article alleges that MOVESA has already built an inspection facility near KCH in Lilongwe. Surely to goodness a Nyasa Times reporter in LLW can go out to the alleged location and verify whether or not the facility exists.

  18. Mungete says:

    Outsourcing COF must improve safety on the roads of Malawi. If the motive is to enrich certain persons by charging high fees then the agenda will not be achieved. Number plates are source at high fees simply coz govt had made it as income generating activity. People own cars not that they r rich. Govt has to be fair with its citizens. Govt shud not generate income on every service. Up to today I hv not yet renewed my passport coz govt raised fees from k15000 to k45000. This govt has made life very unbearable for its citizens


    The problem in Malawi is leadership. These corruption cases are being unearthed everyday here and elsewhere but no action is taken. Somehow the leadership is corrupt itself and it can’t see any wrong here.

  20. Bolero says:

    Contracting out the CoF service is a welcome move. They do it in other countries anyway and it works perfectly. Kudos to government for the move.

  21. Jamison Lungu says:

    Ms rubbish business causing insecurity in Malawi. Get rid of the big cashgaters for security to return. Bring sharia law or Chinese law on corruption. Wakuba ndalama za boma anyongedwe.

  22. Max B says:

    No serious leaders in Malawi

  23. Brazilian Wax says:

    Malawi is never short of heartbreaking administrative malaise. Do we have leadership in this country? What are we up to as a nation? We are so sick. Privatization and especially one executed with selfish interest is never and has never been a solution to economic recovery. What systems in Malawi need is a culture of discipline. You know, when you have disciplined people, you don’t need hierarchy. When you have disciplined thought, you don’t need bureaucracy. When you have disciplined action, you don’t need excessive control. Some so called renowned Malawian business captains have argued in favour of privatisation. That’s a goof. Privatisation on its own without the mentioned forms of discipline doesn’t work. I will give an example; do you know that Ethiopian Airways is 100% owned by government of Ethiopia? And if we have one of the thriving air transport in Africa isn’t it Ethiopian Airways? Come on Malawi. Let’s love the country please before everything else.

  24. imeneyo ndi di pi pi, musauka amalawi simunati.

  25. ... says:

    That’s Malawi for us.
    Under the Mutharika family we always suffer.
    Mulungu atithandize.
    Awa tatopa nawo.

  26. matako a pusi says:

    Confusion confusion confusion everywhere how can Malawi develop withh this mentality?

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