Malawi tankers drivers block fuel entry at Songwe Border

Malawians operating under the banner of Professional Truck Drivers Association (PTDA) on Wednesday started an industrial action whose chief aim is to force powers-that-be to give contracts of ferrying fuel into the country to locals,  and not foreigners.

Malawi fuel tankers
The drivers have since blocked the entry of any tanker bringing fuel into Malawi at the Songwe Border,  until their demand is addressed by the Tonse administration.
Mphatso Moleni, the association’s secretary general,  said in a telephone interview with Nyasa Times said the fact that government is awarding contracts to foreigners is making them suffer.
He said their bosses [local tanker owners] pay exorbitant taxes and that the effect trickles down to them as they get meagre salaries and benefits.
“We have tried to talk with the Tonse alliance government to give such contracts to local business owners and be fair on taxes but this has been to no avail.
“Foreign truck drivers who bring fuel into the country are enjoying. They receive allowances, big salaries while we suffer as we don’t have any fuel to bring in as our bosses are afraid of the taxes. Now what we want is that government should cancel such contracts that are impacting negatively on us,” he said.
According to Moleni,  they will continue blocking the Songwe Border to deny fuel tankers entry until the issue is resolved.
He warned the blocking would spread to other borders in the country.
“Maybe government will be using other means of bringing in fuel, but as far as we are not assisted,  we will continue detaining the tankers at borders,” said Moleni.
Energy minister,  Newton Kambala, said his ministry in collaboration with National Oil Company of Malawi (NOCMA) already invited the concerned parties to a round-table discussion on Wednesday.
Kambala,  however, refused to disclose the outcome of the discussions saying NOCMA was in a position to do so.
But NOCMA spokesperson,  Telephorus Chingwenembe,  denied to disclose what had transpired during their discussions.
The development according to social commentator Jackson Msiska will affect the country’s economy if the parties fail to solve their differences as soon as possible.

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Tonse
Tonse
8 months ago

Let’s hope that the government will listen to this reasonable call. The government has to save forex paid to foreig transporters, create jobs within the country, and encourage use of the facilities established by the regime of Kamuzu in Dar and Mbeya for fuel transportation. Let’s eliminate corruption in the fuel industry which is leading to award of such contracts to foreigners at the expense of Malawians and the country’s economy.

Alamu Pumani Mwakalamba

Ikayamba njanji you will block the trains as well. Tanzanians are advanced with truck business. Please let’s use the most effective means to transport fuel and that is rail.

Babs
8 months ago

It seems people o not know that fuel transportation contracts are given annually. Now when were these current contract awarded? My take is that the current contract which is running was awarded by the previous Govt. Just wait and see. Also NOCMA has a hidden agenda on this since it is full of cadets

John chidongo
8 months ago

Koma boma limene layambira patali kuona Nyenkhwe. Wina a Chita heart attack. A solver kulamulira dziko sizibwana. Achileka.

Wilkork
Wilkork
8 months ago

It is very true, we need to change this now, the tendancy of awarding government contracts to foreigners only must stop, we voted for change and we are expecting a real change, money has to circulate in our country, it is time to create millionaires in this country and nothing less

Kambewa Ngozo
8 months ago

Foseki
Why are we still using Oil Tankers instead of railways or build a pipe line like Zambia.

National CEO
National CEO
8 months ago

There is some sense in their demands

Leader of opposition
Leader of opposition
8 months ago

Akanadziwa kuti masiku obweretsa fuel by road akutha akanadekha. German govt donated ship MV Ufulu just before Kamuzu fall and built tanks or was to build tanks at Chipoka, Mangochi and ku mpoto coz uts cheaper. Tankers would bring the fuel frombeya or Dar especially salaam while pipe would have been built to the Tz side of Lake Malawi from Dar . Izi zinasokonekera bakili anazipondereza kugula ma tanker ndi mzake Rolf Patel kuti azitidyera masuku pamutu. Fuel obwera pa ma truck is expensive, amabedwa and leaks. Muona polekera

Phwisa
Phwisa
8 months ago

The contracts should be 70% for locals and if all the fuel is imported Malawians then 100% of contacts should be given to Malawians. I support the strike because Chakwera used to support all such causes during his campaigns

Manyalira Mhone
8 months ago

Nkona Zakanembo wadula ulendo wake waku maTaifa?

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