Minibus owners and vendors condemn riots, bemoan huge loses

The Minibus Owners Association of Malawi (MOAM)  has strongly condemned and  disassociated itself  from the violence perpetrated by some minibus drivers and conductors in Blantyre on Friday morning.

MOAM addressing reporters

The drivers and conductors took to the streets to demonstrate their reservations against the new Road Traffic Regulations which imposes heavy fines on some offences like overloading and driving while drunk.

The new regulations follow a spate of road accidents which have seen over 950 lives lost in the past 5 months.

MOAM Secretary General Coxley Kamange during a news conference in Blantyre which was also attended by Blantyre vendors and other security stakeholders, said the protest was by other interest groups and not his body.

“We are not in support of the fracas. In fact we have incurred huge losses by not plying on the roads today,” said Kamange.

He, however denied reports that the drivers and conductors were being used by some bodies with a hidden agenda, but suspected other interest groups to have taken advantage of the protest to incite riots.

“Our operations and profits depend on the tranquility and the stability of the economy, so all those rumours that we are behind it are  not true,” Kamange said.

Joining Kamange during the briefing was chairperson for Blantyre vendors Frank John Malunga who warned his members against taking part in the riots.

“The city was brought to a standstill today and any sane vendor would know the amount of loses we have incurred today. There is no way we can wish this scenario to continue. We are against this and we condemn it in the strongest terms,” said the visibly angry Malunga.

Many people have condemned the act which has seen almost four Police units  torched.

One minibus operator Peter Mvalo who has been in the trade for the past doing 12 years is supporting the action taken  by Traffic officials, saying apart from saving lives of Malawians it will help their vehicles to be durable and avoid un necessary wear and tear.

“Some of us obtained loans to have these buses so there is no way my driver can tell me what to do with my bus. We will do business tomorrow as long as police provides security on the roads,” said Mvalo.

Meanwhile, Police in Blantyre have arrested 33 people in connection with the fracas.

 

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suffered
Guest
This cry of losses incurred due to civil disobedience by minibus drivers only what if it is mass civil disobedience as espoused by senile and stupid reverends heading Public Affairs Committee. They need to seriously consider what a calamity it will be and there legal mind Rabbit Mphiri Mbwenu must pose and reflect on the aftermath of his brainchild. In July 2011 it was Ngoma mwakasunguramhonekondowemkandawiresembereka who championed civil disobedience and experienced their folly in the deaths of innocent young men. If PAC does not have a better agenda for Malawi ,let them keep quiet other than contemplating civil disobedience… Read more »
Maps
Guest
Amaminbus awa ationjeza akufunabe adzipakira anthu ngati matumba, they have no regard for the safety of their passengers or they look at is money. Apolisi musawasiye amenewa amangidwe basi akalakwira lamulo, no one is above the law. Am glad some drivers have accepted and have started adhering to the new rules. I was traveling in an AXA executive coach to mzuzu, while at Lilongwe the bus exceeded it’s capacity by a single passenger. The driver refused to leave until capacity was observed in the bus. These AXA coaches to mzuzu were also notorious for overloading passengers. This is the way… Read more »
Malawi
Guest
My fellow Malawians, agalu awa ama minibus don’t give them space. Awonjeza The Police should not condone lawlessness. Lock them up. They are selfish yet people are dying. They should not hold anyone at ransom. Invite all minibus and bus owners to a round table and inform them that you (the Police) will arrest their drivers and conductors for breaching traffic laws and regulations. Lock them. As passengers we do not owe any allegiance to them. On another note, Government should strictly consider re-introducing city line buses. We need sanity in Malawi. Countries worth the salt have not stopped offering… Read more »
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