‘Sacramento’ operators to protest against Malawi police crackdown on them

Bicycle taxis operators in Malawi’s northern city of Mzuzu are threatening to hold street protests against the tendency of police officers of impounding bicycles that are operating in the city.

They argue that the move is negatively affecting their livelihood as they solely rely on the business for their economic survival.

According to a story monitored on Capital Radio’s evening news bulletin, the police have been impounding the taxis popularly known as ‘Sacramento’ claiming the development is contributing to the increased incidents of road accidents and traffic congestion in the city.

Confirming the development Mzuzu police spokesperson Maurice Chapola said the police have intensified the crackdown on bicycles taxis’ operators in the city and the owners are fined MK1, 500 each to get back their bicycles.

Bicycle taxi in Malawi

But the operators have received the police action with sadness and disappointment.

They said government authorities would have been appreciative with the role they are playing by complimenting government’s efforts in addressing the problem of unemployment.

They warned against  banning the business saying this would likely increase the rate of theft and vandalism in the city as many will have nothing to help them earn a decent living.

Bicycle taxis have recently become major mode of transport in Mzuzu and many parts of the country especially with the recurrent fuel shortage crisis facing the country.

The Mzuzu city council officials had also banned the operation of bicycles taxis within the city a move which has fallen on deaf ears.

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