Mali’s ministers and MPs who acquired government limousines and four-wheel-drive cars under ousted president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita have hastened to hand back the vehicles after the new military rulers requested their return.
The junta issued a brief but courteous call on Sunday calling on former lawmakers and ministers to “hand back government vehicles that had been put at their disposal.”
They were given until Tuesday to do so.
An AFP journalist who saw the car park where the vehicles have been returned said it was full of high-end vehicles, from German limousines to Japanese 4x4s.
“As of today (Wednesday), we have received 120 vehicles belonging to the state,” a garage employee, Oumar Diarra, told AFP.
“There are so many cars that we have had to park some of them elsewhere,” a manager at the garage said.
On August 18, rebel troops seized power, ousting Keita after months of protests, fuelled in part by suspicions of endemic corruption and lavish spending under his government.
Former government spokesman and information minister, Yaya Sangare, was the talk of the day on social media after returning five vehicles.
He said he took responsibility for having so many vehicles but defended himself.
“These are cars that I stopped using after the government resigned on June 11, 2020, and I was waiting for the official handover” to a successor, Sangare told AFP.