Commuters were forced to walk this morning as minibus drivers in the country’s cities and towns held protests against restrictions on minibus seating capacity.
The drivers also want government to reduce fuel prices saying the recent fuel price hike coupled with the limit on number of passengers have affected their business. The measures allow minibuses to carry two passengers per seat whereas they normally carry four passengers per seat.
In the cities of Lilongwe, Blantyre and Zomba as well as in districts such as Mwanza, minibus drivers parked their vehicles and barred big buses taxis, motorcyclists and even company-owned vehicles from transporting commuters.
In some areas such as in Blantyre and Zomba, police officers fired teargas to disperse angry drivers who had blocked roads as part of their demonstrations.
In Lilongwe, people travelling from the city’s townships to town or city centre were seen walking as they had no other option.
According to reports, the drivers through the Minibus Drivers and Conductors Association and the government have since reached an agreement with government that they should be carrying three passengers per seat.