The newly appointed Minister of Homeland Security, Ken Zikhale Ng’oma, has ordered traffic police officers to immediately stop confiscating driving licences from motorists saying the practice is against the laws of the country.
The minister was speaking this on Tuesday 6th February, 2023 at Area 30 Police National Headquarters in Lilongwe during an interface meeting with heads of security departments in the country where he condemned the practice in strong terms.
Zikhale Ng’oma said it is very worrisome that cases of traffic police officers confiscating driving licences from motorists are on the rise despite the law enforcers’ knowledge that doing so is against the laws of the country.
The minister who was once right-hand man and bodyguard to Malawi’s former president late Bingu wa Mutharika, pointed out that even when motorists commit a road traffic offence, traffic officers are not supposed to confiscate driving licence and he has urged the law enforcers to immediately stop the malpractice.
He further noted that most traffic police officers confiscate driving licences out of greed and love for money saying the law enforcers commit the malpractice as a way of forcing motorists to give them some money for the committed traffic offence.
“When conducting your duties as traffic officers, stop confiscating driving licences from motorists. That is against the law. No traffic officer has the authority to confiscate a driving licence from a motorist when being stopped for a traffic violation under the laws.
“Most of you here know what quick money is. You want to hasten a routine process then you bend rules, confiscating the licence so as to force the driver to pay something which is not remitted into government coffers,” said Zikhale Ng’oma.
He further said he is aware that some traffic police officers give motorists fake government receipts so as to claim money for fines which were supposed to go direct into the account number one, a practice which he said should as well stop immediately.
“I am aware that some traffic officers carry fake receipt books. This must stop. Let us practice integrity,” added Zikhale Ng’oma.
Meanwhile, the Minister has promised that government through his Ministry will look into providing better remuneration packages and refresher courses for the security organs present in order to motivate them and end the malpractice.
Speaking at the same event on behalf of all the participants, Inspector General of the Malawi Police Merlyn Yolamu, described the meeting as an ideal for the security agencies saying it gave them a chance to express themselves and as well hear what the government has prepared for the departments.
“This was a great opportunity for all the security organs to express themselves and their needs but also hear what government expects of us. We thank the minister for his patience in listening to our presentations,” she said.
The minister courted senior authorities from the Malawi Prison Services
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