Genesis of Presidential Convoy
THE GENESIS OF THE PRESIDENTIAL CONVOY’SRIGHT-OF-WAY IN MALAWI
Today the presidential convoy is a marvel to watch.56 years ago there was no law or act to effect such road and traffic clearance and right of way to the presidential convoy. The Federal Government was driving around like any other person on the roads. The situation changed when Dr Kamuzu Banda came to power.The then Secretary General of the Malawi Congress Party, Aleke Banda, made it public through a statement that any form of intercepting, overtaking or delaying the procession of the Prime Minister Dr Banda, would attract severe punishment.
However, the act of giving way to the Prime Minister was only an act of courtesy and safety to the Prime Minister himself. The Legislative Council Sitting of 15th August 1963 debated a Bill introduced by the then Minister of Transport and Communications, Colin Cameron.The content of the Bill was to amend the Motor Traffic Ordinance and define the legal measures for the protection and security of the Prime Minister when on convoy, at thesame time outlining consequences and penalties to would-be perpetrators of the Act.
The structureof the convoy was, one police car on the front and one on the rear.The Prime Minister’s car was mid – placed. The house also added that the police cars on duty escorting the Prime Minister should bear some sign to distinguish them from normal duty.(Today we have the sirens)
Only emergency Service car’s such as Ambulances or Fire Engines would be given special response by the convoy. Everyone else would have to yield to the presidential convoy’s right of way.