Malawians took to the social media on Thursday to react angrily to Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA) decision to effect a hike on fuel setting stage for increase in cost of living.
MERA statement issued by its board chairperson Reverend Joseph Bvumbwe seen by Nyasa Times stated that the fuel hike is as a result of the depreciation of the Malawian Kwacha against major currencies and trends in the petroleum market.
Petrol is now selling at K990.30 from K932.50 per litre while diesel is now selling at K990.40 per litre from K935.60.
Paraffin is now selling at K785.00 from K755.30.
The hike in fuel will also affect the prices of commodities on the market and this will have a huge bearing on Malawians.
This year alone fuel has been hiked for three times.
Malawi expressed their disappointment over the fuel hike whenthe global oil prices are on a downward trend.
Political activist Hellen Chabunya protested the fuel on her Facebook page which attracted many comments including that of MERA chief executive officer Collins Magalasi.
“I’m no eceonomist but this does not make sense. Either someone is trying to make up for overvaluing the Kwacah before ordering more pil, raise campaign money for ma Cadet so the rest os us have to somehow pay the corruption tax,” she wrote.
She described the price hike as “corruption tax”.
“We are paying 7% increase when the global prices have gone down 6%… meaning our corruption tax on fuel is 13%,” she posted.
According to a global petrol price tracking portal, fuel prices have been declining during the same period Malawi has seen a swift hike in petrol and diesel prices.
“During the past week, crude oil prices declined for a sixth consecutive week due to the surging supply. As a result, the world average prices of gasoline and diesel also went down to levels of 1.11 USD and 1.06 USD per liter respectively” notes the portal.
For four months in a row, Malawi’s year-on-year inflation rate has been on the upward spiral with National Statistical Office (NSO) figures released Wednesday showing the rate has jumped by two percentage points from 9.5 percent in September to 9.7 percent in October.
The jump in inflation, caused by rising food and no-food items, has raised fears that the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) could increase its policy rate—the rate at which commercial banks borrow from the central bank—at its next Monetary Policy Commitee (MPC) meeting in December. The rise in policy rate could also compel banks to increase the cost of borrowing.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :