MAY 2nd 2018

AS the checks on the misuse of Government vehicles enters its third successful exercise, the levels of abuse and arrogance have escalated with Kasama recording the top notch after Lusaka.

This has prompted Minister of Works and Supply Honourable FELX MUTATI to immediately declare war on the abusers and that they are going to face the wrath of the law squarely.

The declaration came to light on May Day when the Government Transport Unit swung into action in the provincial capital shortly after the end of the Labour Day celebrations and recorded 24 vehicles impounded at one check point by Kasama Shoprite with one found at a bar in New Kasama as the driver was drinking beer with his colleagues.

And Controller of Government Transport MR ERNEST KUNDA who suffered verbal abuse from some drivers who least expected the presence of the team from Lusaka could not believe the levels of aggression demonstrated by some Government motor vehicle users even when they knew the rules and regulations.

“This is strange. Kasama is worse than Lusaka and Livingstone. These people think they own these vehicles and are untouchable,” he said adding “you can imagine we even found one parked at a drinking place in New Kasama as the driver was drinking beer with friends”.

However, MR MUTATI said it is quite clear that across the country, levels of abuse are high and also that the respect for regulations, rules and procedures is very low.

He said he will not stand the arrogance and aggressive attitude from Government workers who abuse the critical public resources at the expense of national development.

“And what is more shocking particularly here in Kasama is the level of arrogance for law breaking. They think these government vehicles belong to them and they are entitled to use them without authority. We thought it was a battle but now it is a war. We need to elevate it to a level of war if we are going to change mindset and attitude in terms of people following rules and procedure,” he said.

He said in Kasama it has been observed that a number of projects have stalled because of the diversion of critical resources into endless expenditures hence the need to bring order and secure control of the “people’s motor vehicles”.

MR MUTATUI further declared that the exercise is going to be carried out nationwide and ensure that it is undertaken on a sustainable basis and achieve the desired results.

He said the message from the people that have been witnessing the exercise is that of encouragement on Government to continue with the exercise as they are tired of seeing their resources being wasted by people entrusted to use them for national development.

“From the cries of the people, they are calling on Government to do something and it is our duty to arrest the situation. You have them saying arrest them, arrest them. This only shows how serious the situation is,” he said.

He added that in an hour the team impounded 20 vehicles for abuse which is a clear indication of the highest levels of abuse which he said are worrying.

MR MUTATI prays and looks forward to a day when the exercise will be mounted, the number of abusers will be less or completely eliminated as people will be made aware to comply with the three simple rules which are;

1. Having a valid weekend permit.

2. Getting authorisation and adhering to log book conditions

3. Having competence to drive a Government vehicle

Other than the driver who had parked the vehicle at a bar, another vehicle impounded at the Shoprite check point was being driven by a non-government employee who claimed to be a mechanic and that he had been asked to go and fetch for spare parts in town.

The Minister, upon hearing the explanation from the man who claimed to be a mechanic said it was unacceptable.

“And our duty is bring back sanity. So with my colleagues we are saying this exercise going this exercise is going to be extensive and intensive. And there is no reverse gear unfortunately in this exercise,” MR MUTATI declared.