Malawi roads have literally become death traps:  Times comment on ‘blood harvest’ causes

As part of its extended coverage to the story of eight men and four women who died in an accident which government has declared a national disaster, Malawi’s flagship newspaper has pointed in an editorial comment that the country’s roads have literally become the death traps.

The coffins of the deceased at the funeral ceremony

The spot of the accident

The comment in the Daily Times of Thursday October 18 2018 titled ‘Another blood harvest of systemic carelessness’ dwelled on the report of 12 people killed in a road accident on Tuesday night.

Mchinji Police Station officer-in-charge Maxmas Thomson Bakali said the deaths could have been avoided if road safety regulations were adhered to.

He said: “It is not allowed to carry people in an open lorry. It [a lorry] is a goods vehicle. Drivers and passengers should know their responsibility. It is sad that we continue losing lives. We still see people resisting [these rules]. We should avoid this.”

The paper in the editorial comment said most of the accidents result from a system that has designed itself to put lives of its people at risk.

“First, most of our roads are badly constructed, rugged, potholed and narrow. Even some stretches of the M1 Road look like some pathways of forgotten country,” reads the comment in part.

It added: “Making matters worse, the roads are not clearly marked while road signs are not there mainly due to vandalism by people who do not care about civility and patriotism.”

The paper noted that the problem starts right from qualification of drivers and what kind of vehicles is certified to ply on the roads.

It said the country’s roads are replete with road unworthy vehicles driven by unqualified drivers, saying the problems lies in the corruption that is deeply entrenched at the Directorate of Road Traffic and Safety Services.

The paper said a corrupt system combined with unpatriotic citizens and bad roads is the results of the “blood harvest” the country is having on the roads.

The Mchinji accident happened at Chikhutu, near Guillime, when the lorry swerved to the other lane to avoid hitting a cyclist.

Witnesses said the family members from adjacent villages travelled to Namitete in Lilongwe to attend a funeral of a relation on Tuesday and were on their way back when they mate their fate.

The accident came barely two days after a ruling DPP vehicle overturned in Kasungu and killed two passengers, including a Ministry of Information and Communications Technology technician who was operating a public address system at a political rally.

Meanwhile, a 24 year old man died on Monday after a vehicle hit him near Nkhatabay District Hospital.

Nkhatabay Police Station Spokesperson, Kondwani James said in an interview that Amigo Chitembeya was hit by a Toyota Sienta registration number NB 7336, driven by Innocent Nyirenda, 35, of Nthulinga Village in Traditional Authority (TA) Timbiri in the district.

James said that the driver is in Police custody as the law enforcers are investigating the matter.

Chitembeya hailed from Msekeni Village in the area of TA Mtwalo in Mzimba District.

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Phudzi
Guest
Phudzi

The OC doesn’t know that the officers plying the roads of Malawi are corrupt? Don’t blame others whilst you are playing an indirect role in the accidents on the roads. There are many factors that contribute to these accidents mr OC, police officers are to blame as well.

Malawi
Guest
Malawi

If all the donations Malawi has been receiving did not end up in politician’s pockets some of these deaths would have been avoided.

Corruption from Road Traffic and police is contributing too. Not to mention the leadership.
If we had strong leadership Malawi would be a better place.

Am suprised they are shocked, do they not know the state of the roads here in Malawi.
Where is accountability.

Malawians please lets vote wisely.

benjones
Guest

The mini Bus Drivers are very careless and the roads are very nerrow. The one in Limbe, Zomba Road is very sad story.

Kamale
Guest
Kamale

The officer in Charge comments are out of context he says “….the accident could not have happened if the people were not travelling in a lorry” does he mean that the vehicles collided because one was a lorry and the other was a truck?? fodya basi. try and look at event objectively not just looking for someone to blame and here blaming the victims? shame on you boss

chinyau cha ku Nambuma
Guest
chinyau cha ku Nambuma

I am afraid the officer in charge is right. Lorries are designed to transport goods and not people. Simply because they are used to transport people in Malawi doesn’t mean lorries are designed as public transports

jacob
Guest

Lorries are for caring goods not people. The government should be strict about this.

manyozo
Guest
manyozo

road safety regulations says a lorry is a goods vehicle not a passengers carrier vehicle. a lorry is open vehicle, does not have safety measures to protect passengers, hence if a passenger vehicle was used instead of a lorry maybe there would only be one death or none. try to comprehend zokamba anthu osamangopanga criticize chilichonse amwene

China
Guest
China

Honestly some cars are not road worthy komanso a traffic kutenga ma bribe at all costs.Amatha kupedza munthu akuthamanga ndi galimoto over the limit or drunk koma akapasidwa kangachepe they let the person go.Vuto ili ndi lalikulu kwambiri hence ngozi zambirinso

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