Government is assuring the nation that there will not be the disruption of fuel transportation on Monday as the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) is set to take charge of a nationwide fuel distribution exercise to ensure the product is accessed in all corners of the country; it has been learnt if the strike by truck drivers is effected.
The move, which will involve troops from almost all commands, according to some impeccable sources within the military, is scheduled to start Monday and will include overseeing related fuel logistics.
This comes amid reports that Professional Drivers Union of Malawi (Podum) plans to down tools effective Monday; claiming that government has failed to address their concerns for the past two years.
Among others, the truck drivers are asking for a 200 per cent salary increment as well as a 200 per cent hike in international allowances.
Podum’s recent stance seems to be buoyed by the adage ‘striking when the iron is hot’ by targeting the administration at a time when fuel, the bedrock of global economy, continues to be in intermittent supply in the country.
But with the reported intention by the military, the ploy by Professional Drivers’ Union stands to be in vain should the soldiers take over ferrying fuel to all fuel stations across the country.
“Of course it’s true, and the troops are ready. It’s not like it’s strange to us. We have done this before, if you can check the records.
“Besides, the military elsewhere is adequately trained to stand in the gap should one sector in the socio-economic ladder appear to be paralyzed in one way or the other. We don’t know about any impending strike by any sector of the public. We go by orders, and we will just be carrying them out at the appropriate time,” said one of the sources on strict anonymity basis.
The fuel scarcity was about to completely paralyse the already ailing economy, plummeted by the increased forex shortage that has hit the country, were it not for timely government intervention.
Before leaving for the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) currently on in New York, United State of America, President Lazarus Chakwera mobilised key stakeholders to strategies on normalising the fuel situation in the country.
The interventions included securing forex from the local banks for the procurement of the commodity, with about 100 tankers said to be on their way, bringing the commodity to the country.
As if it is not enough, government, against all odds also decreased the fuel pump price in tandem with the trends, among other variables, on the international market.
Meanwhile, government is also in the process of expanding the base of the country’s fuel importers to ensure the commodity remains prevalent as it is key to resuscitating the economy.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :