The public notices quite a number of tinted cars on the road with no license plates – Malawi Nyasa Times

The public notices quite a number of tinted cars on the road with no license plates - Malawi Nyasa Times

The public has taken note with concern that there are a number of large fancy cars with tinted windows on Malawi’s roads without showing their number plates.

While the police stop any car without license plates at official and makeshift checkpoints, these large SUVs are not stopped to check why.

It is believed that such vehicles are used by high-ranking officials such as state house staff, judges, ministers, MPs, police and others take advantage to do the same, knowing they would not be stopped by the police.

Renowned journalist and commentator on social issues, Idriss Ali Nassah, posted on his Facebook page a photo of an unlicensed SUV he had chased from Mangochi to Blantyre.

He reported: “It was a lot of fun driving this big car all the way from Mangochi to Blantyre. At the security checkpoints, the police saluted and waved quickly.

“I’m told that large SUVs with tinted widows and no license plates are today’s functional equivalent of the ‘Ana a Dad’ of yesteryear – the untouchables.

“Again, where we’re going is where we’re coming from and where we’re coming from is where we’re going. That is in many ways Malawi’s progress for you.”

‘Ana a Dad’ (children of President Peter Mutharika) were records that some Progressive People’s Party (DPP) executives used on their cars, complete with a DPP-branded cloth on the rear-view mirror – which police never stopped for fear of reprisals.

The car Nassah drove from Mangochi

‘Ana a Dad’-plated cars disappeared on the roads and Nassah’s observation prompted Yusuf Miles to comment:Awandi Ana a Abusa (are these for President Chakwera?) Kapena ng’ona zikulu zikulu (or big crocodiles?) What an upgrade, the Ana a Dad drove in cheap Nissan bakkies – these are swimming really big bucks with those SUVs.

Chisamsoka Manda believed that “this is a bad system”, which as a country should be condemned”, Che Msume said it is a “system, we can’t break it”.

Akuzike Liwanda asked if “Judges of the court, ministers, the police drive cars without license plates, why not us when we say we are all equal before the law?”

Jay Mtame jokingly suggested that he remove his as well, to which Nassah said, “You can easily carry any contraband then, I can tell you. The police will salute and open checkpoints for you – no questions asked.”

Mungoni Harawa said “Malawi refuses to change”, while Davie Chalira is treading this “a dangerous path and a total violation of traffic rules and regulations”.

Earnest Kanyenda noted that the “State House has a lot of those plateless ones,” which Dannie Grant Phiri agreed to, saying, “These vehicles with invisible number plates are a threat. They normally park where a normal person can’t.” Ya ku State House’, people react resignedly.”

Journalist Aubrey Mchulu said: “We’re taking three steps forward and two steps back, we can’t make any progress anyway. The Promised Land remains a piece of cake”, while Gilbert Kamiyala opined that these are “Trappings of Power – the more things change, the more they stay the same”.

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