The public has taken note with concern that there are a number of big posh cars with tinted windows and plying on the roads of Malawi without displaying their registration number plates.
While the police, at official and impromptu checkpoints stop any car without registration number plates, these big SUVs are not being stopped to check why.
It is believed that such vehicles are used by high ranking officials, such as State House staff, Judges, Ministers, MPs, Police and that others are taking advantage to do the same knowing they would not be stopped by the police.
Renowned journalist and social issues commentator, Idriss Ali Nassah posted on his Facebook page a picture of a SUV without licence plates which he had driven behind from Mangochi to Blantyre.
He reported: “Tailgating this big car all the way from Mangochi to Blantyre was much fun. At security checkpoints, the police saluted and quickly waved it through.
“I am told that big SUVs with tinted widows and no number plates are today’s functional equivalent of yesteryear’s ‘Ana a Dad’ — the untouchables.
“Again, where we are going is where we are coming from and where we are coming from is where we are going. That, in many ways, is Malawi’s progress for you.”
‘Ana a Dad’ (President Peter Mutharika’s kids) were plates that some Progressive People’s Party (DPP) cadres used on their cars complete with a DPP-branded neckerchief attached on the rear view mirror — which the police never stopped for fear of reprisals.
‘Ana a Dad’-plated cars disappeared on the roads and Nassah’s observation prompted Yusuf Miles to comment: “Awa ndi Ana a Abusa (are these for President Chakwera?) Kapena ng’ona zikulu zikulu (or big crocodiles?) What an upgrade, the Ana a Dad were driving cheap Nissan bakkies — these ones are swimming in real big monies with those SUVs.”
Chisamsoka Manda was of the opinion that “this is a bad system”, which as a country needs to be condemned” to which Che Msume indicated that its a “system, we can’t break it”.
Akuzike Liwanda asked if “Court Judges, Ministers, the Police drive cars without number plates, why not us if we say we are all equal at Law face value?”
Jay Mtame jokingly suggested that he would remove his as well, to which Nassah said: “You can then easily transport any contraband, I can tell you. Police will salute and open checkpoints for you — no questions asked.”
Mungoni Harawa said “Malawi is refusing to change” while Davie Chalira this is “treading on a dangerous path and a total violation of traffic rules and regulations”.
Earnest Kanyenda observed that the “State House has many of those plateless ones”, to which Dannie Grant Phiri agreed, saying: “These vehicles with invisible number plates are a menace. They normally park where a sane person can’t. ‘Ya ku State House’, people comment in resignation.”
Journalist Aubrey Mchulu said: “We make three steps forward and take two backwards, surely we can’t make progress. The Promised Land remains a pipedream” while Gilbert Kamiyala opined that these are “Trappings of Power — the more things change, the more they remain the same”.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :