Minister of Transport and Public Works Francis Kasaila has defended the bogus vehicle maintenance of unserviceable and uneconomic vehicles by various ministries and departments in what some sources at Capital Hill has described as another form of “Cashgate” which is benefitting officers on one hand and dubious private garages on the other while ripping off the taxpayer.
The Nyasa Times recently reported after random visits to various private garages in Biwi Triangle, Malangalanga, Kawale and other place in the Capital Lilongwe where it was revealed that a lot of government vehicles have been lying idle in these garages for very long periods of time which makes it possible for these to be used as a conduit of siphoning taxpayers money.
The development also comes hot on the heels of the recent order by Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) who have directed that PVHO should constitute a Board of Survey for all government plant and vehicles which is aimed at boarding off all outmoded vehicles which are uneconomic to run thereby causing a drain on public resources.
But Kutsaira has said the outsourcing of private motor vehicle inspectors, will significantly improve the delivery of services at the Department of Road Traffic and Safety Services (DRTSS) which falls under his ministry.
He dismissed any cashgate fears over government’s decision to outsource vehicle testing and inspection services to private garages.
The Minister said tje new arrangement will ensure proper certification of vehicles for road worthiness where DRTSS has not been able to adequately carry out the function due to lack of necessary equipment.
“The vehicle population has exponentially increased in the country and DRTSS has not been able to cope, the new arrangement will offer people choices and there will be many centres offering the services,” Business News quoted Kasaila as saying.
“At the moment the Ministry is in the process of selecting the private operators after they had expressed their interest,” he said.
He also clarified that despite the new arrangement, DRTSS will remain the Regulator and carry out oversight functions.