GOVERNMENT is impressed with the improvement levels in the compliance on the usage of Government motor vehicles which has increased from below 10% to over 80% since the commencement of compliance exercise.
This came to light after Minister of Works and Supply FELIX MUTATI observed the outcome of the inspection during the on-going road checks conducted country wide in all the provincial centres.
He said the increased penalties for would-be offenders is not meant to punish anyone but to ensure that compliance levels reach over 95%.
He was speaking after another patrol was conducted in Lusaka yesterday morning saying two things noticed since the commencement the patrols, are that there is increase in compliance and that the flow of vehicles in Lusaka has significantly reduced.
“We have taken a number of actions since we started this exercise and one of the key pillars is that we revised as of yesterday the penalties associated with abuse of motor vehicles. The penalties are now significant and with a strong bite. We also noticed particularly in Lusaka that the traffic flow of government motor vehicles has also reduced so it means that people are beginning to pack the vehicles over the weekends,” he said.
Mr MUTATI said there is a new trend which has emerged in the abuse of government motor vehicles where people are carrying unauthorised cargo.
He said among the most carried cargo was building materials where people are using Government vehicles to transport their building materials and advised civil servants that Government vehicles should not be used for the purpose of building personal houses.
Two vehicles were impounded this morning carrying building materials and both drivers had no authorisation or any documents to support them using the said vehicles at the time of impound.
A visibly impressed Mr. MUTATI said the outcome signifies the fact that peopke’s mindsets are are changing for the better but added that the same operations will be conducted in selected places in the nights.
And Ministry of Works and Supply Director of Human Resources WEZI LUKHELE has observed that there is also a seious abuse of the government number plate even after buying the vehicles.
He said it has been noted that most of the people that were once offered to purchase government vehicles have continued using the GRZ number plates with some in running into close to three years.
Mr. LUKHELE described the practice as tantamount to evading payment of tax and called on all who are still using GRZ to change failure to which they will face sanctions.
He made this caution after an incident in Chilanga where a government employee with the Ministry of Tourism and Arts was found driving a vehicle that was sold off and was still using GRZ number plates.
Meanwhile a team of Government Transport Control Unit that swung into action last night checking on the abuse of Government Vehicles impounded six motor vehicles found in irregular places.
Out of the six vehicles, the first to be impound was found parked at Kabwata’s Cheers shop in a rather disguise like the occupant was buying commodities from the supermarket.
After a team led by Controller of Government Transport ERNEST KUNDA waited for over an hour to see the driver but in vain, he decided to clump the vehicle and later a towed it to the parking area at the Ministry of Works and Supply for safety.
This happened after Minister of Works and Supply Mr. FELIX MUTATI joined the team in Kabwata and expressed dismay at the conduct of some public servants who have the apetite to abuse public resources.
The vehicle ABK 2739 a Mistubish Pajero was discovered to be in custody of a Mr MALAMBO from the Auditor General’s Office in Livingstone.
Mr. MUTATI said it was regretable that an auditor whose duty is to remind the government on abuse of resources happened to be in the forefront of being found parked the government vehicle in an irregular place when his position entails accountability of public resources.
He said Government will not stop anyone from having entertainment but that anyone who wants to indulge should do it using their personal resources and not that which belongs to the public.
Mr. MUTATI declared that the night operations will also continue side by side with the weekend ones until the mindset of people changes for the better.
“This is not a mission to incovinience anyone but a reminder to safeguard public resources which are purchased using tax payers money at high cost,” he said.
He said no one should use government vehicles to advance their entertainment adding that the operations will continue until the mindset of public servants changed for the better as they embrace the spirit of responsibility and high levels of discipline towards public resources.
On Burma road, another vehicle was impounded near Arackan Baracks which the driver had difficulties to explain why he was driving it without authorisation and ended up giving conflicting statements that he had bought the vehicle when in actual fact he had not even paid anything.
The operation team later impounded three GRZ vehicles found at one place in Chilenje parked in front of Vines Christian Centre while the other was impounded at the traffic lights next to Kabwata Seventh Day Church.
And Mr. KUNDA vowed that his team will not give chance to an form of abuse adding that the exercise, as the Minister directed, will continue even during week days especially after 18:00 hrs.
He said all those without authorisation to be in possession of the GRZ vehicles after working hours will not be spared.