An ambulance driver who prioritized lives of patients by not giving way for President Peter Mutharika’s convoy on Tuesday will not face any charges.
The driver Mustapha Mthiramanja was said to have endangered Mutharika’s presidential convoy and was summoned for questioning in police headquarters, area 30 in Lilongwe is now cleared.
Mthiramananja was driving an ambulance carrying patients needing quick medical attention from Area 25 Health Centre to Kamuzu Central via Kanengo.
By the time Mthiramanja was driving to Kamuzu Central hospital in a quest to save lives, the M1 road between Kanengo and area 18 in Lilongwe was temporarily shut to give way to Mutharika convoy.
James Kadadzera who is a national police spokesperson told the local media that Mthiramanja was not arrested but confirmed that he acted against the traffic laws and was necessary for him to be called to appear before police for questioning.
“Police did not apprehend Mthiramanja but we only wanted to advise him that what he did was an insult to the traffic laws,” said Kadadzera.
George Jobe who is Executive director for Malawi Health Equity Network said the driver was right to prioritise patients’ lives
He added that ambulances have to be rendered right of way when executing operations that call for emergency.
Commenting on the issue, lawyer Justin Dzonzi said traffic laws do not say which one of the two, the President and the sick people, should have the priority over each other.
“But common sense tells that the priority should be given to a sick person rushing to hospital for medical attention,” he said.
Section 123 of the Road Traffic Act advise traffic officers to provide way for the presidential convoy but it also says emergency vehicles including ambulances should not to be interrupted when carrying out emergency operations.