Minibus fares bite hard: passengers left crying

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Malawians have expressed concern over the rise in minibus charges that has been recently agreed upon by minibus drivers.

This comes in the aftermath of road traffic police’s failure to soften stiff regulations it introduced last month. The drivers are argued to have been driven by anger to act.

Charges have been raised without involving Minibus Owners Association of Malawi (MOAM). The body claims it is no longer in its mandate to have a say on such a matter.

MINIBUSES

Minibus operators hike fares. (File image)

Some Malawians who use minibuses as their main means of transport have told this publication that drivers should have considered the current weak economic footing before their action. They say there is always an innocent solution to every problem.

“This is selfishness at its best, how can they raise charges at a time when the country’s economy is limping?” said Shadrach Magwira from Blantyre.

Commenting on the issue, one of the minibus drivers was quoted as telling a local television that this is what the government wanted. He added that government did not address their grievances, so tit for tat should take its course.
Late last month, minibus drivers in Blantyre staged demonstrations in protest against the newly introduced regulations. This heavily affected business in the commercial capital.

One of the regulations which faced opposition is the one which calls for a K20,000 fine for carrying a 50Kg bag and other heavy goods, or else a jail term for drivers and conductors.

The rise in travelling costs has been noted in the cities of Blantyre and Lilongwe. The hike percentage differs depending on area.

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2 Comments

  1. The commuters should learn to get organized and fusing paying those charges by not riding on the buses until the fairs are brought down.Let us start walking and c if these people are going to make any profit. Government want to bring sanity in the transport sector so do not misinterpret facts to say it is Government. Malawians let us rise against these Thieves by not riding on there buses. We can lobby Government or companies to buy staff buses so that we pay fairs which would meet maintenance and operational costs.

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