By Simon Muntemba

GOVERNMENT has  warned of stern action against drivers and civil servants misusing and abusing government

And Minister of Works and Supply Matthew Nkhuwa has encouraged the general public to report cases of misuse and abuse of government vehicles to the ministry using various channels including social media.

Mr Nkhuwa who expressed sadness at the increasing levels of misuse and abuse of government vehicles said the substantial increase in cases of vehicles being abused by drivers and officers was worrying.

Speaking during a press briefing in Lusaka yesterday, Mr Nkhuwa disclosed that some of the common misuses involved government vehicles running personal errands.

He further said parking government vehicles at unauthorized places such as at the bars, over speeding and using tinted windows to carry unauthorized  personnel were among the recorded cases of vehicle abuse.

He explained that government allows the use of vehicles with tinted windows only from the position of Permanent
secretary and above.

The Minister has, however, vowed to punish all those found wanting because misuse of vehicles was not only costly to government but also to the public.

“The increase in cases of  abuse and misuse of vehicles has resulted in high expenditure on fuel, service and repairs, consequently, leading to disruptions in effective public service delivery.

“My ministry will not sit idle and let abuse continue but will continue to strengthen the monitoring and control of the use of government vehicles through the controller of government transport unit,” he said.

Mr Nkhuwa stated that abuse and misuse of government vehicles attract different penalties.

Driving a government vehicle when one is not a civil servant, he said, attracts a penalty of K1000, while driving a government vehicle by unauthorized driver attracts a
penalty of K800.

And Mr Nkhuwa disclosed that the Ministry has developed a draft comprehensive fleet  management policy framework to guide government institutions on how to effectively and efficiently manage the government fleet adding that it will soon be submitted to
Cabinet for approval

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