Malawi Govt stands firm on minibus seating capacity


Malawi Government has refused to bow down to pressure from minibus drivers who held protests on Tuesday demanding government to review its Coronavirus rules.

The drivers closed roads, attacked fellow taxi drivers and motorcyclists and got involved in running battles with the police as they wanted government to allow them carry three passengers per seat or to reduce the price of fuel.

However, Government has said its Coronavirus rules are still applicable. The rules state that all public service vehicles (Buses, Minibuses and Taxis) should reduce their seating capacity to 60% (2 people per seat in minibuses) whilst observing social distance.

“This press release is hereby confirming that no Covid-19 regulation has changed. All regulations will be enforced accordingly,” said Deputy Minister of Transport and Public Works Nancy Chaola Mdooko on Tuesday.

She warned that any excess passenger found in public service vehicles shall be removed forthwith.

She also warned all operators that failure to adhere to these measures will attract a fine of One Hundred Thousand Malawi Kwacha (MK100,000.00) and imprisonment for three (3) months.

Drivers violating the rules will also risk having their licence and any permits revoked.