MP Kandodo pins down Malawi govt over minibus drivers strike

Member of parliament for Kasungu south east Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda on Tuesday took the government to task to explain what it is doing to end the strike by minibus drivers and conductors which virtually crippled the transport system in the capital, Lilongwe on Tuesday.

MP Kandodo Chiponda:Punitive measurers are to the advantage of passengers who are the people the MPs represent

This follows the government decision to impose stiffer penalties on road traffic offences.

“What is the government, to be more specific the police, the ministry of Transport and Public Works and the Road Traffic Directorate doing to ensure that the misunderstanding between minibus drivers and conductors on one hand and the government on the other, is ironed out as this has crippled the transport system in the country,” she said.

She said minibus transport constitutes over 90 percent of urban passenger transport therefore any disturbances cripples the whole transport system mainly in urban areas, including the Capital City, Lilongwe.

“As I am standing here, Mr Speaker Sir, the transport system in Lilongwe has completely been crippled because minibus drivers and conductors have withdrawn labour in protest against the new punitive measures the government has put in place to ensure safety of the people on the roads of Malawi,” she said.

Most minibuses were parked on Tuesday and those that were on the road doubled or tripled their fares, forcing some workers to be late from work or absent from work all together because of the high fares which they could not afford.

Police were called in at Sent, a shanty township after Area 18 when some drivers and conductors blocked a road to force other minibus operators withdrew their minibuses.

Khumbize Kandodo said the new punitive measures are to the advantage of passengers, who are the people the MPs represent in this august House.

“We all know that some minibus drivers drink these hard but cheap spirits whilst on duty, they park their vehicles anyhow, they reverse their vehicles without even following rules and in the process hit other stationary vehicles, they pick passengers anyhow, anywhere without due regard to traffic rules,” she said.

She said she knew of a woman who had a wound after she was injured in a minibus and was infected with tetanus which forced her to be in hospital for more than a month.

“We have reports of clothes torn because of these sharp metals which hold the chairs yet minibus operators seem not to care as long as the bus brings them money everyday,” she said.

She said councils can take over the running of transport in their respective cities or towns, saying  councils can invite tenders from reputable companies to run public transport services in the cities with certain strict threshold measures, that way, there will be order in the way public transport is run.

She said some executive officers, even honourable members of parliament and cabinet ministers, can abandon their vehicles and use public transport after being attracted by the sanity in the public transport sector.

Government has ruled out demands by bus drivers and conductors to soften penalties for traffic offences, saying the rising road carnage which has led to loss of lives in recent times is a concern.

Minister of Transport and Public Works Jappie Mhango was answering a question from Kasungu south east MP Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda who asked Mhango on the current spate of protests by minibus drivers and conductors following the government decision to impose stiffer penalties on road traffic offences.

Mhango said the police will continue to enforce seating capacity limits, curbing on drink and drive incidents, curbing on overspeeding and stopping loading of goods in minibuses.

“Following these strict measures, there has been an outcry. However, we will continue with discussions with minibus operators so that we find a lasting solution to the problem,” he said.

Minibus drivers and conductors went on violent protests on Friday followed by their counterparts in Mzuzu and Karonga on Saturday.

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Zinenani Zoona
Guest

Malamulo amakoma kukhwimitsa ngati usali momwemo. Take Bingu (RIP) for example: he had a minibus which he operated in Lilongwe after leaving COMESA. When he became president, he stopped minibuses from long routes, and said three passengers per row.

While you think you are helping passengers, you are actually punishing passengers. If a minibus is packed at home, minibus owners will tell you that “siyikudyatu msima”,

Chinkwinya
Guest
Much as we are all in support of what the MP is saying, nobody here is commenting on the real problem here; Big Buses! Almost all the accidents happened recently are of Big Long Distance Buses and if you look at them most of them are less than a Year in operational. Be true to yourself especially you who visits COF Centres like MOVESA in Lilongwe and any Road Traffic Offices where you have been bringing your Vehicles for COF. When was the last time you come across a Big Bus going COF procedures? What about Minibuses? You do not… Read more »
Mzika Yeni Yeni
Guest

Wow!!!!! Viva Khumbize!!!!! How I wish we had more sane MPS like Khumbize. By now we would have National Buses in the City. What can Jappie Mhango say when he is eating the same minibus money.

The foolish MPs are those in the City Constituencies. They are just sitting Phwiiiii! Zikungo yang’ana ife tikubvutika. MK700.00 from Area 25 to Town. MK500.00 from Area 25 to KCH Round about. MK300.00 from Area 25 to Area 30. Abale is this true? Do we have any Government Organ that is responsible to regulate these fares? Kapena zonse zaponyedwera a garu?????

alungwana
Guest

But then we still need the traffic police in town. I’ll show you a picture of what happened when there are no traffic officers in town.

Ndimomo
Guest

Now, after all talks,it is my wish that in the near future, the government will regulate the buses and minibuses fares!!! Let them be calculated according to mileages!!!

hatton
Guest

You have my support Honourable. I would have loved had you condemned the strike by drivers and conductors. Why are they annoyed when their bosses are not complaining? Let’s join hands to condemn the strike. It’s uncalled for.

Mr.Bambo.
Guest

Hear hear hear.!!!!!!
Khumbize wamva zimenexo?????

mahope a Khumbize
Guest

Mahope anga tsopano, mkazi ali ndimwendo uyu ndipo amakoma

Ine
Guest

Khumbize, you should table a bill to eliminate mini buses and ‘re introduce big city line/double deckers, funded by government. It was an absolute pleasure to drive in the city of both blantyre and lilongwe without mini buses. Our roads are actually adequate for the amount of motorists. It becomes a total fuck up when the mini buses are present. Get rid of them. Re Introduce big buses. If you did this, you would be truly representing your people as a true legislator.

wpDiscuz

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