Minibus Owners Association of Malawi (Moam) has commended government for reducing fuel prices, but has remained mum on the effect on minibus fares.
Moam secretary general Coxley Kamange observed that there cannot be any good news than the reduction in fuel prices, saying they affect costs of many goods and services including transport.
“This is good news not only to us as an association but also to the general public. I believe the drop in the prices will at least ease the people’s cost of living,” he said.
Kamange further explained that owing to this development, the association expects that minibus business will improve as operators will use the money saved on fuel for other services.
He was, however, non-committal if and when minibus fares will also drop because of the development.
Kamange said he would not be in a position to say whether minibus fares will drop as well, arguing that those powers are no longer in their hands, according to a determination by the Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC) last year.
“It is difficult for me to say that minibus fares will be reduced automatically because apart from fuel, other factors have to be considered as well,” he said, citing prices of spare parts.
It has been a common trend in Malawi that when prices of fuel go up, minibus fares go up as well.
The Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) announced a reduction in the cost of petrol, diesel and other petroleum products effective September 4.
Petrol is now be selling at K796.20 from K839 per litre, diesel is at K805.50 from K853.40 per litre while the cost of paraffin has remained at K719.30 per litre.
Mera also announced a reduction in the price of aircraft fuel, Jet A1, from K719.39 to K708. 64 per litre at Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe whereas at Chileka Airport in Blantyre, the price is now at K700.28 from K715.21 per litre.
The energy regulator has attributed the price reduction to stability of the kwacha against the dollar and reduced importation costs.