Malawi Minibus operators hold protest


Minibus operators this morning suspended their operations and blocked other vehicles from picking up commuters in protest of the tollgate fees set by the government.

Drivers and conductors led demonstrations demanding government to reduce the K3,400 tollgate fees for minibuses.

Minibus touts and ‘eni migodi’ (people who act as landlords at the depots and receive money from minibuses) are also angry over the government’s decision to ban their operations at all depots.

In some areas in Blantyre and Zomba, some of the protesters erected roadblocks to stop other minibuses, taxis and even private vehicles from picking up commuters. The Zomba- Liwonde Road was blocked at Chikupira and protesters also blocked a road at Mangochi Turn off.

Commuters said in interviews that the stay away has affected them as they had to walk to their destinations and some could not conduct their businesses as usual.

Meanwhile, the Minibus Owners Association of Malawi (MOAM) has called off the stay away.

MOAM national secretary Coxley Kamange  told the local media that Government through Minister of Information Gospel Kazako  has asked for dialogue.

“Government has already started resolving some of our challenges such as removing of touts, and we are optimistic that through dialogue, this too will be resolved, ” said Kamange.