Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) drivers in Lilongwe yesterday staged a sit-in, threatening not to report for duty if they will not be paid their allowances before being deployed to transport election materials to polling centres across the country.
A visit by The Nation to Plant and Vehicle Hire Organisation (PVHO) premises in Lilongwe on Wednesday, revealed that about 1 000 MEC vehicles which were supposed to have left the capital city were still parked there with some drivers playing bawo.
A representative of the group, who only identified himself as Chiboda, said they got assurance from MEC that they were going to receive their allowances before transporting the elections materials, but the elections body did not honour the pledge as of yesterday.
“We are ready to serve the nation, but we should be paid first. If we start off late, then there will be chaos because some of these vehicles will travel all the way to Chitipa and Nsanje and have not been serviced for a while,” he said.
A MEC official who has been handling the matter, Leo Paligolo, refused to comment on the matter.
MEC spokesperson Sangwani Mwafulirwa did not pick up his phone despite several attempts to talk to him.
According to the drivers, MEC has promised to give them K10 500 subsistence allowance per day, but they have not been told how many days they will be out in the field.