Malawi hikes fuel prices: Cama warns of hard times

Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) has warned Malawians to brace for more tough times ahead after Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) hiked fuel prices effective today.

Mera has increased petrol from K680.80 to K736.60, diesel K730.80 from K657.40 and paraffin for domestic use remains at K171 while for industrial use is at K603 from K535.50.

In its statement, Mera said it effected the increment after considering various economic trends such as depreciation of the kwacha to increase the prices.

But Cama Executive Director, John Kapito, in reaction, challenged government and Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) governor to come out in open and admit the country’s economic policies were failing to achieve intended targets.

 Fuel pump prices up
Fuel pump prices up

Kapito blamed President Joyce Banda and her followers for rushing into celebration that her economic policies were successful.

“People need to start asking these politicians who held celebrations over things that are temporary. Now with fuel prices going up, what does that tell you?” Kapito queried.

The consumer and human rights activist also blamed RBM Governor, Charles Chuka for lying that he had enough muscle to ensure Kwacha stabilizes to hold off fuel price increments during this lean period up to next year.

“Chuka said is capable of cautioning such things like current fuel prices hike, and people agreed with him. Now am vindicated when I warned that whatever measures they boost about were temporary and things will start getting worse once in lean period,” Kapito said.

He added: “We have not seen enough yet. There will be a lot of movements in fuel prices since we don’t have full control. The cost of living will become unbearable, and Malawians should brace up for worse moments ahead”.

Chuka was quoted by the local media recently, saying that the central bank has sufficient forex reserves and has a target of two months import cover, about $366 million (K128 billion), by end of this year.

“I have enough muscle at the moment to make sure that no one tries me with the kwacha. I do need to ensure that the kwacha stabilizes throughout this period [lean period] and all the way to next year so that fuel prices don’t keep on rising,” he said.

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