An ambulance driver in Lilongwe, Malawi faces dismissal after he cruised past a presidential convoy as he had two critically ill patients – one was on oxygen – on board. He was taking the patients, a child who was on oxygen and a critically anaemic woman to Kamuzu Central Hospital.
The police followed the driver up to the hospital where they wanted to arrest him and impound the ambulance, but after discussions with hospital management, they just summoned the driver to police headquarters.
It is not known whether the police will arrest him or just caution him.
He has since been suspended from work.
District Commissioner for Lilongwe Lawford Palani defended the police action, saying the behaviour by the ambulance driver compromised the security of President Peter Mutharika. “What the driver did was indiscipline. He has to respect the head of state,” said Palani.
However, Malawians on social media are all up in arms against the police, saying the ambulance driver did nothing wrong as he wanted to save lives of two people.
“This is unfair. The president was going to Kasungu for political campaign, but the ambulance was going to hospital with critically ill patients. This is selfishness,” reads one comment.
[Opposition] United Transformation Movement presidential hopeful Saulos Chilima, who is also state vice-president, has time and again said when voted into power he would order that roads should not be closed just because the president wants to pass.