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Minibus Call-Boys still a threat to security

By Monica Tambala

Lilongwe, June 16, Mana: Minibus Owners Association of Malawi (MOAM) has appealed to law enforcers in the country to apprehend the call-boys time and again without being reminded, saying they still pose a threat to the security of passengers.

“We need to control all minibus terminals and transit points. The city authorities should take their role, they own most of the places. They should be in charge because these call-boys even collect more [money] than the city.

“Law enforcers need not to be reminded to act accordingly,” said MOAM spokesperson, Coxley Kamange, in an interview with Malawi News Agency (MANA).

Kamange further deplored the tendency of some minibus drivers and their assistants who quarrel with and display their demeaning attitudes towards passengers.

He said the behaviour is against the law and warned those in the habit to refrain from it.

“The Road Traffic Act of 2004 stipulates that harassing a passenger or vice-versa is an offence punishable by law, so, both sides need to desist from these malpractices,” Kamange added.

However, in a separate interview on the issue, Deputy Public Relations Officer for Central Region Police, Foster Benjamin, said the police have not relaxed on enforcement of the laws, stressing that touting is illegal.

He said those who are into touting and engage in attacks of passengers should know that the law will not be silent on them.

“As police, we are still enforcing the measures because it is illegal [to tout] and the laws are still clear on this. They are operating illegally, and those who attack others will face the law.

“We have strategies in place where we go around enforcing the laws by removing them from the depots because they harass people along the way,” Benjamin said.

One of the passengers, Deborah Phiri concurred with Kamange that call-boys harass and sometimes rob the passengers, hence the need for them to be removed.

“Call boys are a threat to both passengers and drivers; they raise the bus fare, harass you and are generally a threat security wise.

“I, therefore, beseech the police to intensively patrol in the minibus terminals and put stiff measures in punishing the call boys,” she said.

MOAM’s appeal to the law enforcers to remove call boys comes against the background that mini bus touting refuses to die in spite of government having prohibited the malpractice.

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