Malawi minibus owners hike fares 10%

Malawians should brace for even harder times as the Minibus Owners Association of Malawi (Moam) has announced a 10 percent fare hike .

Moam secretary Coxley Kamange confirmed the development in an interview on Monday.

A jump in minibus fares could trigger a corresponding rise in commodity prices as transport constitutes a large proportion in the price build-up of goods. Malawians are already facing escalating commodity prices.

Kamange said increase of fuel prices has  left them with no option but to raise the fares.

“As you know, Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA) has raised the price of fuel. As MOAM we are affected by the development such that we have agreed to raise the price of bus fares in the country by 10 percent for the buses operating on longer routes and five percent for the buses operating in the cities,” explained Kamange.

Kamange: Hike fares

Kamange said the buses which operate within cities they had decided to add five percent more than the usual bus fare in the country.

According to MERA diesel is selling at MK 475.00 from MK 445.60, Petro at MK 485.60 from MK 441.10 and paraffin is selling at MK 390.00 from MK 367.00.

But some people are calling on government to reintroduce city bus lines in the country to compete with the private bus commuters.

“I ask government to introduce city bus lines which used to operate decades ago. If such plans were reintroduced by government we would see justified bus fares in the country as there would also be competition,” said one of the commuters

On his part, Country Representative for Let’s Talk Africa Open Discussion Forum, Stellar Ndalapa Mhango suggested that MOAM should consult with stakeholders to seek their views on whether or not to raise the bus fares in the instance of fuel prices going up.

“MOAM should avoid exercising unilateral decisions in changing bus fare prices. They need to be fare with passengers in the country,” said Mhango.

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