Malawi Energy Authority (MERA) announced the reversal of price hike of fuel only hours after announcing a price increase effectively retaining old fuel prices which were hiked by 5.79 percent, 6.30 percent and 8.20 percent for petrol, diesel and paraffin, respectively.
The regulator earlier announced in a statement, that from 6 o’clock in the morning Thursday (4 October), petrol, diesel and paraffin (industry) briefly went up from K539, K521 and K434.30 per litre to K570.20, K554.80 and K469.90 per litre, respectively.
MERA attributed the price increase, the second in as many months, to what is called Automatic Pricing Mechanism (APM) based on the value of the kwacha against the dollarand that it had taken into account trends in the world petroleum products prices and other macro-economic factors to raise the prices.
But MERA chief executive officer Dr. Allexon Chiwaya on Thursday wrote all stakeholders advising them on the reversal of price hike.
Meanwhile, Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) has described as suspicious and political.
There were widespread reports that President Joyce Banda ordered the reversal because the constant increase in pump prices of fuel was making her government unpopular.
“This government does not know how to separate politics from economics,” Kapito is quoted in the local press.
“This decision was made in a political room by someone who realises that such price hikes are digging his or her own grave.”
According to Kapito, the Joyce Banda administration “are simply trying to postpone their burial when practically they are already dead.”