Machinga Likwenu MP David Lali of United Democratic Front (UDF) has asked the government to look for money elsewhere in order to buy police vehicles.
He said the Chinese, who had pledged 100 vehicles, are not fulfilling their promise, after all.
Lali said this when he asked for a police vehicle at Liwonde police station. He was however shouted down by senior cabinet ministers.
“Since 2014, this House has been promised that China is going to donate 100 vehicles. Up to now, there is no vehicle that has arrived in the country. This is an indication that we have a challenge. Either China is bankrupt or does not want to support Malawi or there are other issues that need to be looked into.
“Therefore, as a government, we cannot continue waiting for China we need to have an alternative. Actually, this is just a donation,” said Lali.
Foreign affairs minister Francis Kasaila said the member of parliament was out of order, saying he was treading on issues that concern two countries.
“This is a country that has helped us for quite some time including the house that we are in now. Therefore, we need to respect that fact. I thought that is important in diplomacy,” he said.
Home Affairs minister Grace Chiumia said the vehicles would be in the country by March.
“Indeed, since 2014, we have been saying we are expecting vehicles from China. Mind you, there is no problem between the Government of Malawi and China. I would like to say that this is a donation from another country and we need to be patient as it involves a lot of processes,” said Chiumia.
But Minister of Gender Jean Kalirani added that initially China wanted to give Malawi the small salon cars but they have changed, they want to give four by four vehicles.
“I just want to add that when China was ready to send the 100 vehicles, they were sending 100 small saloons. So we said no our terrain is very difficult and we gave them the specification of the 4 X 4 and sirens for the towns and so on. It will take time to fit on what we requested. If we had just accepted the saloons, they would have been in the country a long time ago,” she said.
She said even the 100 vehicles are not enough as the country needs 500 police vehicles.
The MP then was pressured to withdraw his statement on the Chinese and their donation, to which he did.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :