Minibus Drivers Protest Fuel Price Hike

Bangwe commuters walking to their respective destinations Bangwe commuters walking to their respective destinations - pic by Happy Njalam'mano

Minibus operators in Blantyre and Mangochi on Monday morning grounded their minibuses protesting recent fuel price hike.

They claim they are making losses trading with high fuel costs without hiking fares.

One of the drivers in Limbe – Blantyre says it would have been better if they return to old seating capacity of three passengers per seat to compensate for the hike.

Peter Bandawe said that “already people are going through economic challenges and hiking fare will be a burden to them.

“The best way would be to reduce the fuel price or go back to the previous seating capacity.”

His colleague, Wallis Phiri, said government has relaxed some of the COVID-19 restrictions, saying the same would have been applied to minibuses.

“People are now going to stadiums to watch football matches. Politicians are conducting several meetings and social gatherings such as weddings and funerals are being held. Why not allowing us to operate like before?” he questioned.

The development forced commuters to walk to their respective destinations as most of them were stranded.

“The biggest challenge is that the disgruntled drivers are refusing taxis to ferry people. I stay at Bangwe and I work at Naperi. It is a long distance that I cannot afford to walk. As a result, we will get to our work places very late. This has affected us greatly,” said one of the stranded commuters.

The Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority hiked fuel prices last week by 20 percent.

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