Local minibus operators in Ntcheu today resolved not to operate in protest against a decision by Ntcheu District Council and Traffic Police to bar them from picking passengers anywhere.
The district council this month ordered that there should not be any driver who will be picking passengers anywhere but only in the new bus depot.
The council in conjunction with the district’s traffic police department said they will arrest any driver who will be found in the wrong.
The council further said they will be confiscating minibuses whose drivers will be caught contravening the new law and the drivers will be forced to pay a fine. However, this did not please the drivers who today decided to take action over the matter.
This morning, all the minibus operators parked their cars inside the new depot in a bid to force authorities to reverse the decision.
According to one of the drivers who spoke with this reporter in a telephone interview and asked for anonymity, at some point angry drivers started pelting stones at the police as they misunderstood each other on the matter. In retaliation, police started firing teargas at the drivers.
The driver who operates a minibus from Ntcheu boma to Mlangeni said they are against the new rule because inside the new bus depot they are finding it hard to do their business.
The driver added that it would be good if the council allowed them to be doing what they have be doing before construction of the new depot.
“Many minibuses are parked inside the new depot waiting for police to address us on the matter and reverse their decision,” said the source. Meanwhile, there is now calm at the depot and some drivers have resumed operating their businesses.