Officials from Manngochi Town Council have summoned Mangochi central MP Clement Chiwaya for going against council resolution to ban Kabaza (bicycle taxis) services in the town.
Chiwaya, who is also the second deputy speaker of parliament and member of the United Democratic Front (UDF) which is a political bed fellow of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) told a presidential rally this year that the government would not effect the ban on Kabaza.
The council resolved to ban the kabaza services to avoid road accidents in the township roads mainly caused by the kabaza cyclists.
Council chairman Ibrahim Kachere said following Chiwaya’s political utterances during Mutharika rally in the district, the council put on hold the ban which was supposed to be effected on April 1.
“Honourable Chiwaya’s utterances during the presidential rally instilled fear among the council staff that they put on hold the ban,” said Kachere.
Kachere however said the council will now effect the ban anytime but said before doing so, Chiwaya needed to explain himself why he took council issues to a political podium.
Chiwaya feared the ban would trigger high crime levels in the town because of job losses.
“There has to be a better way of handling this issue, but I feel banning Kabazas from operating in town is killing the operators who solely depend on the business for a living,” Chiwaya said on the day.
“My fear is that once kicked out of town to operate in the outskirts, many will fall redundant and they will turn into criminals,” Chiwaya had added.
Chiwaya’s appeal was later echoed by Minister of Information and Communications Technology, Nicholas Dausi who described the ban as ill-timed.
But on Wednesday during the full council meeting, members complained that since the ban was put on hold, accidents involving kabaza operators continue to occur in the town’s main roads.
Councilor, Asan Saidi of Mkanamwano Ward observed that Chiwaya’s remarks had given the kabaza operators so much power that it was now difficult to implement the ban.
Saidi’s remarks were echoed by Ndege Ward Councillor, Amos Mwenye, who said Chiwaya’s appeal was also affecting implementation of the council’s plan to move vendors away from undesignated areas.
After lengthy deliberation on the matter, Mangochi Town Council chairperson Kacheya proposed that Chiwaya should be summoned to the council to shed more light on the matter.
Chiwaya’s appeal on March 29 was applauded by hundreds of kabaza operators who thronged the legislator’s premises and the town’s ‘restricted’ main roads in celebration for the perceived ‘victory’.
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