Kapito faults Chakwera on MERA board

Consumers Association of Malawi (CAMA) Executive Director John Kapito says the continued absence of a Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA) board has created challenges on fuel pricing.

Kapito said this on Friday where MERA and CAMA held a media update on the trend of petroleum pricing in the midst of COVID-19.

He faulted President Lazarus Chakwera for dissolving the MERA board without reconstituting another one saying the decision has created challenges since fuel prices have gone up on the international market but in Malawi the prices cannot be adjusted.

“Maybe there could have been an adjustment or maybe word on how to cushion the fuel importers, but because there has been no board for about two months, it has created a vacuum,” said Kapito.

He added that this may affect consumers because when a new MERA board is formed it will increase the prices by a huge amount.

“For now we are happy we are paying an old prices but we should be unhappy and we will be more worried when those people now come into office and come with stiff or higher prices. Then consumers are going to mourn and cry,” he said.

Commenting on the matter, the MERA Consumer affairs and PR Manager Fitina Khonje said the appointing authority knows the issues and will a board will be appointed.

“Consumers are still enjoying the prices that were set in May despite the fact that there would have been a price increase perhaps in June or July, but that time we had a board and it resolved to maintain prices. When the board comes it will assess all indicators and do appropriate decision,” said Khonje.

MERA is an independent body that deals with liquid, gas and fuel industries,

According to the MERA Act, the board must meet every Tuesday of the month to check, approve and regulate the changes in prices of petroleum products.