Police battle minibus operators over Covid-19 restrictions

Malawi Police are battling minibus operators and touts in Blantyre and Zomba who are staging violent protests as they have resolved to maintain the current capacity of passengers until government reduces fuel prices for them to remain in business.

 Minibus owners have resolved to maintain the current capacity of passengers until government reduces fuel prices for them to remain in business.

In Chirimba, Blantyre and Chinamwali in Zomba, police are using teargas to disperse the angry minibus operators who are demanding the reduction of fuel prices.

Police have had to use teargas to disperse people in Chirimba (Malandilova stage) after they blocked the road and stopped other cars from carrying passengers that are crowded in depots.

The minibus operators are demanding government to reduce fuel prices because the seating capacity was reduced to 60% as part of Covid19 preventive measures.

Minibus Owners Association of Malawi (Moam) acting spokesperson Peter Mvalo said they will not support the capacity reduction measure unless government meets their demands, which include fuel price reduction.

“For us to continue operating and make some profit amid the restrictions, government should reduce fuel prices. We were able to adhere to the restrictions last year because fuel was cheaper than now,”  said Mvalo,  who is also Moam chairperson for the Southern Region.

So far, passengers of public commuters are left stranded in most areas as the minibus operators are threatening others who intend to go back to the roads.

In Zomba, there are running battles at Chinamwali township between the police, minibus and taxi drivers who had earlier blocked the M3 road in protest over reduced carrying capacity of vehicles enforced by government.

The drivers are against the reduced carrying capacity, coupled with high fuel prices, which they say has affected their business.

The protests started at around 6 o’clock in the morning, with workers and businesspersons forced to walk to their respective work and business places.

Over 100 police officers are on the ground, some of them firing teargas to disperse the demonstrators.

In Bangwe, Blantyre, minibus drivers and call boys have mounted their own road block, where they are attacking motorbike kabaza operators.

The demonstrators are chanting songs, with the underlying message being “zisinthe” (demand for change).

Meanwhile, police are patrolling the Mugabe Highway in a bid to contain the situation.

The country has been experiencing a rise in Covid-19 cases.

The public health guidelines, among others, restrict passenger capacity for minibuses and buses by half and also limit public gatherings to 50.

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Gwede Mantashe
Gwede Mantashe
1 month ago

Mbuzi mano kunsi,udzaonanawobwanj pakuti udzakhala iweyo utafa

Erik P
Erik P
1 month ago

Fuel prices are adjusted to the market. If the fuel prices are high and passenger capacity reduced, bus OWNERS will have to reduce their profits or bus prices go up (that will mean some people can’t travel, but will introduce stiff competition to maintain customers). That’s how a market system works. We don’t just choose the price we want to buy and sell things.

Nels
1 month ago
Reply to  Erik P

This goes to government they should have buses and put government price basi simple

Hqj
Hqj
1 month ago

Chiundidabwits ine nchakut
Timaon ngat mubom limenel lizichit zinth zakupsy
Chifukw chilim amaonek ngat ndi munth izindikir pano sakuonek nkomw
Tonse tikudziw momwr amalonjezer zinth
pano kul ziiiiii

BigMan
BigMan
1 month ago

A nation full of Madeya. Get covid and lets see if you will be able to chase the police in the streets.

Chiswa B
Chiswa B
1 month ago

Eni ake ma minibus ali pheeeeee kunyumba. Tells you who controls proceeds from this business

Hrb
Hrb
1 month ago

Mr ziliko, ma minbus driver’s nkhani imavuta ndi target sizoti atumidwa

Malawi wavunda
1 month ago

Nyekhweism. You said fuel will go down as if you have fuel mine. Talking without thinking of the future.Abusa ndi Arafat Chilima game yakukulirani. Running the Government it’s not easy. Chilima lero ukadyanso kanyenya wa pachiwaya? Lero ungapitenso kukasenza thumba la cement?
Yekhwe mafana.,Joyce ndi Kalisita angoti ziiii. Akweni abiti Kaliati mulipo?Underwear yanu yakhwefuka

444444No
444444No
1 month ago

Government cant reduce fuel prices,remember when fuel prices were at Mk960.0 the minibus guys hiked their fares ,then fuel prices were dropped to Mk 640.5 did the minibus guys reduce the bus fares? NO?this time fuel is at Mk834.5 still more profits to the mini bus guy
Covid is real,stay safe

Dont lose Focus
Dont lose Focus
1 month ago

Government should always cushion its Citizens, before gazetting all these points t should have had talks with concerned parties. Government kulephera kuona patali kt this action will cause such reaction mwayambaso kutikaikitsa f u r capable bwanji.

Ginimbi, the illuminate, the likes of Bushiri

“The evil that men do lives after them” oyenda ndi lupanga adzafa ndi lupanga, this is the very same measure you gave to APM, now it is your turn Tonse alliance but this time it will be three-fold, Mawu a akuluakulu sadanamepo, this has given me a lesson as well, deal with it, it is your own making, you own seed!

Amir
Amir
1 month ago

Time for the goverment to introduce big buses like Kamuzu days,proper organized transport system,less traffic jams,less,accidents,proper highway code of driving,we have moved backwards by introducing mini bus,to make worse,goverment allowed motor bikes and sientas,absolute nonsense ndithu…

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