Sidik Mia inspecting Thyolo-Muona road

BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)—Minister of Transport and Public Works Sidik Mia has disputed reports that he had 27 vehicles on his motorcade yesterday as he was on duty tour in the Southern Region, saying the other vehicles were for contractors.

Malawians were shocked on Wednesday to see cabinet ministers Mia and Lobin Lowe being escorted by 27 and 28 vehicles respectively on their duty tour in the Southern region.

Minister of Transport Mia had an entourage of 27 vehicles as he was inspecting the Thyolo-Muona road while Minister of Agriculture Lobin Lowe had about 28 vehicles on his duty tour in the Lower Shire.

Reacting, Mia said it was misrepresentation of facts as most of the vehicles on his motorcade were for contractors.

According to Mia, his office had only four vehicles and only relevant officers were on the entourage.

“I cannot rule on the other contractors not to use different vehicles. They have got engineers, they have got directors and they have got different capacities who serve the same interest.  Therefore, it is not my duty to stop them in riding different vehicles.

“For us as a ministry you can see I have my PA (Personal Assistant), my deputy minister and director of roads who has been accompanied by director of railways who are relevant to this. If I was travelling alone it would just be four vehicles. But to exaggerate that we are using more than what is necessary is not true and it is very pathetic to report in that manner,” said Mia in an interview with MBC.

Mia, however, has hinted that in subsequent duty tours he will advise the relevant stakeholders to use a bus considering the number of people on the entourage to avoid wastage of resources.

President Chakwera and his vice Chilima are championing public sector reforms, aimed at reducing unnecessary expenditure while ensuring efficiency.

President Chakwera reduced the number of vehicles on his convoy to 10 and maintain the vehicles which were used by former President Peter Mutharika as one of the measures to ensure that tax payers’ funds are not wasted.

He also said that he expects cabinet ministers to introduce measures aimed at reducing government spending.

According to Chakwera, the aim is to reduce wastage of resources and reduce the amount of public funds used by people in public positions.

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