Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Tough times ahead

On Sunday (15 June 2008), the government of Malawi, through the Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA) announced a price adjustment for petrol, diesel and paraffin averaging at 25%.

Now, two days after this fuel increase, the country’s minibus operators have announced a 12% fare hike, which will come into effect today.

Representatives of the minibus owners have been meeting since Monday to discuss the new fares following the government's decision to raise the fuel pump price.

The meeting drew together representatives of Minibus Owners Association of Malawi (MOAM), the Consumers Association of Malawi (CAMA) and Passengers Welfare Association of Malawi (PAWA).

Initially, according to Andrew Ussi, acting Executive Director of CAMA, the minibus owners wanted to raise the fares by 25% but after heated debate they lowered it to 15%.

"But still we felt 15% was still on the higher side and we pleaded with them to lower it further," said Ussi. He also felt that 12% was still too much for most Malawians.

Petrol is now selling at K251.20 up by K50.30 from K200.90 per litre while diesel has been increased to K234.50 from K187.50.

Paraffin, the main source of energy for poor Malawians, has gone up by K33.10. It is now selling at K165.30 from K132.20.

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