Lawyer seeks judicial review on fuel price increase

Private practise lawyer Wapona Kita has disclosed that he will represent concerned citizens to challenge the newly increase fuel  prices.

Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) in a vendor-fashion style saidon Tuesday the pump price of petrol had increased by 31 percent, diesel by 38 percent and paraffin by 10 percent to reflect higher world commodity prices since its last revision in January.

But lawyer Kita  argued  that “this fuel hike is illegal.”

“ Under Section 9(c) of the Energy Regulation Act, only the Board of MERA has the powers to approve prices of energy sales. And there is no Board at MERA at present. Whoever has approved the hike, has acted beyond his or her powers,” the lawyer said.

Kita; Fuel increase illegal

“We are going to challenge this price increase. We are going to seek judicial review,”Kita said.

Following the adjustments, petrol will now sell at $2.3 per litre, up from $1.8, and diesel at $2.1, up from $1.6 per litre.

Minibus Owners Association of Malawi, secretary general Coxley Kamanga said they will also adjust upwards minibus fares.

Over and above this, prices of goods have been going up on a daily basis since the introduction of the zero deficit budget.

The fuel increase is likely to trigger broader inflation.

One commentator  Isaac Cheke Ziba told Nyasa Times: “Can somebody protect the consumer and the common Malawian from this chaotic situation in this country? Can we rise up again, as Malawians, just we did on July 20 to stop this nonsensical kind of approach to governing a country?”

Despite the gurl price hike, the commodity is scarce.

Fuel shortages and the soaring cost of imported goods caused unprecedented demonstrations in July against President Bingu wa Mutharika, whose security forces killed 19 people in an ensuing crackdown.

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