A taxi driver plying his trade in Mzuzu has confided in akometsi that many drivers operating in the city simply bought their driving certificates at the directorate of road traffic.
The driver who claims to have used fraudulent ways in attaining his licence at Mzuzu road traffic offices challenges that he would, if need be, help in exposing crooks at the service centre.
“I have never gone through a driving school. I learnt how to drive at the car rank,” said the driver. “Thereafter, I went and simply buy a licence at the road traffic. Its very easy with money.”
He added: “three quarters of drivers at the taxi rank simply bought their licences. No need of exams and all that sinuous processes.”
Another minibus driver who ferry passengers to and from Karonga validated the claims while urging authorities to carry out a thorough investigation on the issue.
“There are officers there who needs to be investigated. Corruption begins with junior officers and shoot to the top. Traffic officers are the worst corrupt,” said the driver on strict condition of anonymity.
Akometsi further established that the power of money and the burning desire to have it in excess by most public servants has led to officers at the road traffic certifying fitness of cars without following proper protocols.
Isaiah Mkosi who testified during an interview that he usually buys his vehicle’s certificates of fitness, said more rubbles at the directorate require urgent cleansing.
“I’ve suggestion to the government,” he proposed. “If we’re to end corruption in the country, junior officers working in civil servants must also be declaring their assets.”
He added: “otherwise, the speed on getting rich quickly is breeding more corruption in all offices of public services. Too much shortcuts.”
In an interview, director of Uwemi driving school, Alfred Ali, acknowledged the decline in driving school business citing that most people these days learn how to drive without being drilled by certified instructors.
He described the development as a recipe for rampant road accidents because most drivers that are on the road are not fully baked.
“They don’t know traffic codes because the just buy licences without undergoing proper trainings. This trend is behind rampant accidents in the country,” said Ali.
On the road, traffic officers are dubbed beggars because of their tendency of receiving bribes from drivers who deliberately flout traffic rules.
In a trip to Karonga recently, akometsi witnessed the worst mess on the road as some traffic officers were seen pocketing money from a drunken driver who had exceeded the minbus capacity by double. It was a risk to all the passengers but money had exchanged hands.
Akometsi followed up the story with the road traffic authorities at the Mzuzu service centre but were told to speak to the national public relations officer who was yet to respond to a questionnaire before publishing this article.