Malawi minibus operators warned against overloading: Seat 3 people per row

The Malawi Police Service, through Department of Road Traffic, has appealed to the general public, mainly commuters to be seating three people on a minibus seat row to avoid accidents that happen due to overloading.



Minibuses should not overload passengers

Minibuses should not overload passengers

Government, through the Road Traffic Directorate, directed that minibuses carry three people on a seat roll instead of four; this was a safety measure, but minibus operators have apparently ignored this orders as they still packing for people per seat.

According to the Blantyre Urban Traffic Command Assistant Superintendent Alex Ndolo Police, Hiace minibuses are mandated to carry 16 passengers while Vannette minibuses should be carrying 12 passengers including drivers and conductors.

Speaking on Thursday through Tikhale Tcheru progamme on state broadcaster, MBCtv, Ndolo urged the general public and minibus operators to follow instructions to ensure safety of the passengers and their property.

“It is high time Malawians started observing the laws by ensuring that the capacity must be right according to the rules.

“They should not allow to be loaded four passengers per seat; the rules and road permit are very clear on this. Therefore, it is important that the capacity must be according to the rules,”  he said.

He said overloading causes accidents, noting that its a danger to board a minibus that is already filled to its capacity.

But one of the commuters, who was involved in the programme, observed that minibus operators flout the laws and load four passengers on a seat roll during peak hours (in the morning and evening) and law enforcers are not seen on the roads during this critical hours.

The concerned citizen therefore urged law enforcers to intensify night patrols and mount check points on major routes connecting residential areas as this, according to him, would prevent minibus operators from flouting the laws.

Tikhale Tcheru TV programme, being produced by Elephant Media Productions with funding from  Petroleum Importers Limited (PIL), is a Malawi Police Service initiative

PIL Chief Executive Officer Enwell Kadango told Nyasa Times in separate interview that they partnered the Malawi Police to help in advancing a safe and secure society by highlighting the duties and responsibilities of the duty bearers and the communities.

Kadango said the TV programme will help viewers and the general public at large realize their roles in as far as issues of security are concerned.

“Our business require security, so too our clients and every Malawian. We need to help the Malawi Police in creating a free-crime Malawi.

“So, the duty and responsibility of every person to report to police any suspicion person or fishy dealings to curb crimes and related vices.

“Malawi Police require our support to ably execute their expected roles in protecting property, life and other fundamental freedoms and rights of individuals,” said Kadango.

He said they will also take advantage of the programme to highlight the dangers of keeping fuel and other flammable products in homes.

On her part, Southern Region Police spokesperson Beatrice Mikuwa hailed PIL for partnering with the law enforcers, saying their support will help reduce crimes in the country.

She cited financial constraints as major challenge suffocating their efforts in combating and detecting crimes in the country.

The Malawi Police Service is a government organ under the Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security and its operations are provided for under the laws of Malawi, notably the country’s Constitution and Malawi Police Service Act.

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58 thoughts on “Malawi minibus operators warned against overloading: Seat 3 people per row”

  1. Dzaoneni says:

    There are many contributing factors to lawlessness by the minbus operators. First, I am afraid to say that the Department of Road Traffic is to blame coz they issue COF to minbuses with chairs that can accomodate the malpractices. Its better all minbuses be certified fit to travel on the roads of Mw wen they are fitted with isolated single passenger chairs so that the 4th passenger shd not hv a place to seat even if he/she wants to force oneself into the minbus; 2 the passengers themselces are greatly to blame to be forced to seat 4 in a chair wen in fact they know the correct seating capacity in every minbus; 3 Police are to blame for they let such overloaded minbuses to pass by them coz they r either owners or friends or they have been bribed already by the drivers. One wobders whether the Police r realy serious coz for instance if u go to Makwasa in Thyolo, obe wd wonder as to whether there r Police in Malawi. A minbus can even overload with 10 passengers. Tapitaniko mukaone mutakwera ngati passenger.

  2. anamalira says:

    a polisi amangopatsidwa ndalama basi . amachita kuipatutsira dala patsogolo posaonekela lamulo silingagwire nchtito

  3. Jeremiah White Mwale says:

    To say the trueth Even Police Officers is also allow Min Buses to pass because some of them they are their friends or the owner of Min Buses are Police Officers. Let the Police Department make the Number which we can give them information. And those who are working on behalf of Min Buse Association they have also problems because is those who tell all passengers that they must board 4 in one chair, they used these words (Ngati simukufuna mupange hire) And the Min Bus Association top Boses they don’t monitor all Min Buses in Town what they know is just to waiting time to raise fares. Mbewa zeni zeni.

  4. XYZ says:

    Overloading ndi speed chimene chikhozza kupangitsa ngozi ndichiyani? Ine yanga ndizinyamulabe 4. apo bii ndikokomezza za kashigeti

  5. MWASUWA says:

    Nononono! this issue, i mean this issue is not in the hands of passengers only. you the law infocers take it serious. you can not say the public must take care of their properties, yet you are there to protect them.

  6. Musazafulu Dums. says:

    Zitsiru kwambiri ndi ma customer bwenzi akukana kuti ngati ndi chonchi tonsefe tisikamo kupanga kawiri katatu anthu azowera.

  7. vyaya says:

    This is upto the passengers themselves, if they are happy to be dying so be it otherwise moyo wanu omwe you need police to enforce the rules for you? Kupusa eti!! chilichonse police? Boma? Just tell driver kuti sitikufuna kufa 3 per chair zipita minbus yazaza……then wait for another one. Better be late for office or home than die……

  8. zeze says:

    Malawi knows no rules and regulations, we are in a jungle. who cares?

  9. Pitala wofoira says:

    This is just one of the good laws that we have in Malawi but can not enforce them. There is no mechanism to track and punish operators who don’t follow the law. They will just tell you to buy your own car if you don’t wanna sit 4 per seat. Where can we complain. We see police getting bribes from drivers who carry 4 passengers, what mechanism is there to bring them to book.

    Don’t cheat us that you don’t know that these things are happening. If you are looking for funding just convince them and chew the money. Mini bus touts are still on the road and yet police is there what can you say.

    Dziko lili mmanja mwa agalu basi

  10. Mjonanje says:

    Zonse ndi apolisi athu amasekelela zopusazi. Even mayendetsedwe a bus zo pamseu enafe timangokhala ngati tilibe malaisence koma iwowo. Malowedwe amumseu, kaimidwe zonse zosimbwa zokha zokha apolisi kumangosekelela bola k200. A polisi mwatikwana kuononga dziko



  12. Francis says:

    Apolicewo nde mbava, amawona kuti min bus yanyamula 4 per row ndiponso kutsogolo kukwera anthu 4 sachitapo kanthu corruption bax.

  13. chakhalira says:

    If these Policemen are serious, let them give us their toll free numbers so that we can phone them when these Minibus Conductors and Drivers load us like bags of potatoes.
    Or else this may just turn into another joke.

    After all this Law only works to the minibus operators if the physical policeman is on the road.

    Kaya onani mmene muthandizire a Malawi.

  14. To make it work, let the passenger at the door be responsible for the damages coz s/he knew that the minibus is already filled to capacity or beyond when s/he was boarding.
    I rest my case!

  15. Bob says:

    The problem in Malawi is we are good at talking but without seriousness in implementation. This issue came up some few years back there was a positive response but soon forgotten. Same with minibus caller boys in bus depots. Pathetic.

  16. kavungachembekwalichanthera says:

    ohoho!!!!! ma min bus a Mzimba -Mzuzu amanyamula anthu 5 pampando,a traffic amangoyang,ana bola alandira zawo.

  17. Ali says:

    Mangochi Chimwala Road block, minibus imadutsa itasenza anthu 24 amangolipira ka 5 hunds basi mpaka pa Liwonde kwinaku amaopa mpaka BT

  18. Mapwiya Mulupale says:

    Thats very impossible.I as a passenger nditha kukana kukhala four four,,,,ndikupanga makani ntundu onse…Koma kutipakilabe four four ngati matumba..kufika pa road block uiwona minbus ikudusa bwinobwino and yet a traffic nu muli pompo…In the end passengers end up being embarrassed…coz amati ‘inu mmayakhula ngati ndani’……infact wat you are saying is shit…kambani zina….

  19. fisi says says:

    mubwere muzaone ku Kasungu ti ma saloon cars four in front and five at the back plus some in the boot a police ali thoo mmiseu kulandira ziphuphu this will never change kaya mwina mma town mo

  20. chindotoli says:

    Osatheka, a. Hiace has 4rows of chairs meaning each row carries 4passengers, including 2passengers in the front so at 16passengers. That makes sense, where as a. Vanette has 3rows meaning if u say we should carry 12 that. Means 4 on. Each row and yet u say it should carry 4, go. Back and observe…

  21. mk says:

    I think the talk must be translated into action otherwise it is a waste of time.

  22. mk says:

    I think the talk must be translated into action

  23. JAPHET KAIRA says:

    Mr Ndolo if it is 4 per seat there in BT then you are lucky but here in karonga is different it is 5 per seat plus another 6 sanding on the door with their backs outside.The drivers don’t mind of the traffick police bcoz they know giving them k500 is enough.As aconcered citizen i hav an idea to assist the police,plz be punishing the one who has sat on un autholised seat becoz he is the one who has made to overload.

  24. William Mzunga says:

    Police trafic ndi apolice apa road block atasiya kulandila chamanja but should punish the minibus drivers adzitsitsa anthu amene apwola mulinfo abwezeredwe ndalama zawo overlaoding ikhoza kutha

  25. charles mjojo says:

    bangwe police road block ndi deal zedi. They are encouraging this four four nonsense in minibuses. Authorities visist this place mukadzionere nokha.

  26. Grivin kili says:

    Iyaaaaaa!! Apolisi musamatione a malawi ngati ndife opepela mwamvaaa??? Tsiku lina muzaleka zopusazi ndithuu! Ndi ndani amene samaziwa kuti mumayika dala malamulo kuti muzidyelapo ziphuphu?almost at every road block ma minibus amapeleka ndalama kuti aduse atazaza beyond overloading.just yesterday a beyond capacity loaded minibus from Nchalo inayima pa roadblock,wa police wabwela kupanga chipikisheni kenako nkuchita kumuuza conducter kuti machimo a overloading wo upite ukalape pa ka office po.the majority of the officers ku Malawi police service just like a lot of government department mukutiwonongela ziko kobasi.siku lina tizathamangisana nazo zimenezi shuwa!!ohoo!!!

  27. Vwapuvwapu says:

    Mwina zitheka. Maconductor asasamba ndiamene amavuita kwambiri, chifukwa amakhala aganyu.

  28. Songwe man says:

    The police survives on ziphuphu.This is common when you get a bus from Karonga to Songwe boarder.The police are very much crooked in all border posts.I don’t know what is they role mainly.Minibuses runs at a very terrific speed.

  29. Man vin says:

    Ma4,4 kwa alendo.ife eni town ayi kkkkkk

  30. Kauma passenger says:

    These minibus people are pathetic.They will load you like sardines with a sweaty conductor in his armpits.Take Area 12 route to Kauma.You will get into a minibus which seems its doors like it will fall anytime.Most drivers are drunk from sachets most of the time.They will even change with conductors when driving which i feel they learn with passengers inside.Its time the Police started being serious with these minibus people.

  31. KARU UNITED says:

    Generally, pa zinthu zambiri, a Malawife ndi a tulo, ogona, kafunseni bishopu Mtumbuka. Pa Chirimba pa a Zuze ndinalimbana ndi kondakita nkhani yomweyi, m’malo mundithandiza ena mwa amzanga okwera anafuula:”ngati sakufuna atsike, akutichedwetsa”

  32. MULOPWANA says:


  33. crazy stuff says:

    Its the traffic police who own these bloody minibuses. What law will these corrupt white hats do? We all know they profit the most from bribes after the MRA custom officers who literally receive jackpot bribes!

  34. Hoitty says:

    Kupusa a Malawi. Fare ya bus inakwezedwa kwambiri nthawi yomwe za 3 mmipando zinayamba. Ngati kukweza over capacity uli mlandu ndi risk it’s better a Police akayigwira adzitsitsa extra passenger kapena yemwe anakwera bus itakwana capacity naye adzilipira fine ya conductor yo. This will only work ngati passenger adzipangidwa charge. Ma politician munathesa public comnuter system yabwino ya ma bus nkubweretsa idzi za mediocre. Aloleni ma bus a mtauni ayambenso kuti anthu adzichita kusankha chokwera pakati pa bus ndi minibus ngati momwe zinalili pachiyambi. Mkanakhala kuti ma politician mmakwera minibus bwenzi mutathetsa kale idzi. koma poti simukwera muli ndi galimoto zanu plus mukakwera bus ndi coach. Bakili mwini ma minibus angalole kukwera 4 pa vanette? Ndipo analola kuti vanette idzinyamula ma passenger ndani? ofuna business ya passenger ayambire Highroof. Szivambo suit kumwinyika kamba kothinana mu vanette. Nde nkusasamba kwa a Malawi ena amakupaka nao fungo lao iwe kununkha tsiku lonse chifukwa chokhala munkhwapa.

  35. A police ziphuphu zidamana nthenje. Kaya ngati bvutoli lingathe

  36. John S.M. Kwenda says:

    Zosatheka kuMalawi uphawi wachuluka ziphuphu nazo zapita patsogolo.

  37. phwaxcaan says:

    iyaaaa ukoooo kafunseni bangwe police roadblock amadyera ma 4 momwemo umangomva adriver taimani apo…then umangoona conductor uyo kuthamanga kukaponya ka 2 hanz akatelo wagula njira…ndiye mufuna mutiuze kut chani..

  38. Kkkk GUYS go to blantyre Road traffic ,that system will work only in Malawi anthufe ndi a ulemu woopya ,Zimbabwe,Zambia, even Tanzania can not work anthu ake anachangamuku

  39. i love sindi simutowe says:

    kungoti okwerafe ndiye opepepla. kumatiphatika ma 4-4 ndikumalipilabe ma full fare. thats why i only enter a minibus when i get a front seat otherwise ndimalola kuchedwa. mphawi condoctor ndi driver alemele pa discomfort ya ine zoona? nyo!

  40. Smadav says:

    K200 is enough kwa ana amasiye m’mawayika muma roadblock anuwa kumapemphesa.

  41. James says:

    Ndiyr mtengo ukwere waminbus kuti nawo azipeza phindu mwakweza misonkho yanu ndani wakana zopusa basi

  42. Bwerani ku mangochi tikamapita ku lilongwe mamawa timakwela 5 pa mpando apolisi apa mtakataka turns timawapasa k500 ya buledi pa Dedza inu mpaka ku Ll. Munenazi nzosatheka. Apolisi amatiwona ndipo amatisiya. Inu ndiye anzeru? Yesani muwone

  43. GANYAVU says:

    Zopusa mukunenazi mukuganiza kuti mmene ikupwetekela misonkho yanuyi ndiye muziti 3 pampando zaugalu basi.

  44. zokumva says:

    Don’t fool us you policemen. We have seen drivers carrying 4 people and pass through road blocks after bribing policemen.

  45. Y says:

    Kodi ndi minbus yokha kapena ndimabus omwe?

  46. Malawi wa Lero says:

    Vuto ndi ifeyo ma passenger. Anthu amaona kuti minibus yadzadza akuwauza kuti akhale four iwo nkuvomera. Cant we be responsible for once? Do we want the govt to come and tell us to sit 3 per row?

  47. a police an2 nao ngosadalilika ziphuphu 2much!!!!!!!!! komanso boma misonkho 2much

  48. Mtchana yozitsata says:

    Tikakhala anthu atatu atatu , mtengo wa transport umakwela.. Bola anayi anayi.. Tiziwauza a driver asathamangitse minibus bola tiseve ndalama …

  49. tozer tsono says:

    It would be better to break down the police organization into several sub categories; national and regional, then district, and city and town. This will establish accountability between sub categories and each category can issue a tickets if there is a violation. The best deterrent would be to confiscate a driver’s license for any such violators. The driver will need to do a government sponsored refresher course on safety rules at a cost or pay a hefty fine up to 3 incidents then suspend the license, the business license of the owner will be suspended for six months after 3 violations. If the violations continue, ban the minibus from transporting passengers.

    Other reasons for the sanctions, include transporting passengers in vehicles with worn out tyre/tire tread, chassis out of alignment, faulty lights, worn out breaks, drunk driving, speeding, etc. The police ought to have mechanics that can verify the worthiness of a vehicle at anytime and anywhere on the roads. If the police rid themselves of corruption, they literally could fund operations and many money demanding activities from enforcement of current traffic laws.

  50. Chalwita says:

    1- Charge the driver as well as an extra passenger per roll. Passengers will reveal one another. If they fail, charge all of them to share the spoil.
    2- Introduce an undercover team across the country to drive and check on corrupt police officers. They will check busses from their loading/departing points and ambush the maggots who collect K200s and let the busses go scot-free.
    3-All public or private commuter drivers must undergo a defensive driving course. Osati zamasachet.
    4- Consider banning standing passengers in all big busses as well. When it is full, the next one will come in. It is happening in other countries e.g. TZ…etc. Malawi chilichonse kutsalira, ndi izi zomwe. We have survived on miseche for too long. Surely, there is no sanity in our overcrowded busses. We do not need any donor support on this.

  51. el- Chapo(small in stature. big in mind ) says:

    I hate this business. No sense of accountability and responsibility from the operators.

  52. all-i-can-say says:

    Just ban these dangerous minibuses. They have claimed lives of a lot people and it’s time we got properly regulated public transport system. How did we get these in the first place?

  53. Nathan Nkhata says:

    Guys you are right and Traffic Police need to catch these guys, those who load over capacity. Government needs money for its operations and yet Traffic officers are just moving in town, eating sausages but salary ikangochedwa sinkhani.

    My salute to PIL and Kadango’s for the initiative. It will help, but needed to be repeated now ad then so that Malawians hear this.

  54. daro says:

    We will believe that when we see that happening and he must warn his traffic police who r too corrupt beyond repair. Malawi would have been better if police don’t eccept money from offenders.

  55. Yanyanya Misonkho says:

    1. Misonkho too much pa Malawi, nchake anthu amakwezedwa 4 mu mipando 2. Eniake a bus amaloleza anthu atatu atatu koma ma driver ndi ma conductor ndi amene amakweza anthu 4 cholinga abe zambiri 3. Anthu okwera ndiamene amafuna akwerebe ma bus akasowa pa peak hour nde amaloledwa.

  56. Rejoice Kachana says:

    Good Development.Give us a toll free number so that we should be calling you secretly when we are told to sit 4 pple per row.we will be giving you the numberplate and the route and the time when the bus owners told us to sit 4 per row

  57. Vinje says:

    The problem is promoted with the fact that the moment they pay the first fine on that paricular day , they continue overloading for the rest of the day. Meeting other traffic police officers, they simply produce the earlier general receipt if anything with 200 kwacha attached.

  58. Myao says:


Comments are closed.