The Malawi Police Service, through Department of Road Traffic, has appealed to the general public, mainly commuters to be seating three people on a minibus seat row to avoid accidents that happen due to overloading.
Government, through the Road Traffic Directorate, directed that minibuses carry three people on a seat roll instead of four; this was a safety measure, but minibus operators have apparently ignored this orders as they still packing for people per seat.
According to the Blantyre Urban Traffic Command Assistant Superintendent Alex Ndolo Police, Hiace minibuses are mandated to carry 16 passengers while Vannette minibuses should be carrying 12 passengers including drivers and conductors.
Speaking on Thursday through Tikhale Tcheru progamme on state broadcaster, MBCtv, Ndolo urged the general public and minibus operators to follow instructions to ensure safety of the passengers and their property.
“It is high time Malawians started observing the laws by ensuring that the capacity must be right according to the rules.
“They should not allow to be loaded four passengers per seat; the rules and road permit are very clear on this. Therefore, it is important that the capacity must be according to the rules,” he said.
He said overloading causes accidents, noting that its a danger to board a minibus that is already filled to its capacity.
But one of the commuters, who was involved in the programme, observed that minibus operators flout the laws and load four passengers on a seat roll during peak hours (in the morning and evening) and law enforcers are not seen on the roads during this critical hours.
The concerned citizen therefore urged law enforcers to intensify night patrols and mount check points on major routes connecting residential areas as this, according to him, would prevent minibus operators from flouting the laws.
Tikhale Tcheru TV programme, being produced by Elephant Media Productions with funding from Petroleum Importers Limited (PIL), is a Malawi Police Service initiative
PIL Chief Executive Officer Enwell Kadango told Nyasa Times in separate interview that they partnered the Malawi Police to help in advancing a safe and secure society by highlighting the duties and responsibilities of the duty bearers and the communities.
Kadango said the TV programme will help viewers and the general public at large realize their roles in as far as issues of security are concerned.
“Our business require security, so too our clients and every Malawian. We need to help the Malawi Police in creating a free-crime Malawi.
“So, the duty and responsibility of every person to report to police any suspicion person or fishy dealings to curb crimes and related vices.
“Malawi Police require our support to ably execute their expected roles in protecting property, life and other fundamental freedoms and rights of individuals,” said Kadango.
He said they will also take advantage of the programme to highlight the dangers of keeping fuel and other flammable products in homes.
On her part, Southern Region Police spokesperson Beatrice Mikuwa hailed PIL for partnering with the law enforcers, saying their support will help reduce crimes in the country.
She cited financial constraints as major challenge suffocating their efforts in combating and detecting crimes in the country.
The Malawi Police Service is a government organ under the Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security and its operations are provided for under the laws of Malawi, notably the country’s Constitution and Malawi Police Service Act.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :