Government has taken a strong defensive line on its decision to hike fuel prices by an average 28 percent when people are hit hard by Covid-19 pandemic which has negatively affected their economic lives.
Minister of Energy Newton Kambala said the increase in fuel prices is a reflection of an increase in prices on the global market.
He said the government has been stabilizing fuel prices for some time and there is also a need to sustain the economy.
Meanwhile, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legal affairs spokesperson in Parliament, Bright Msaka has called on the government to be responsible in the management of fuel prices and the stabilization fund.
Msaka said since the Tonse Alliance government came into power, all Malawians have experienced are increases in fuel prices.
The DPP legislator for Machinga Likwenu said government is only taking advantage of the fuel prices on the global market to milk Malawians who are already poor.
He said government should utilize the stabilization fund to cushion Malawians.
Msaka said during the DPP regime, fuel prices were being maintained or going down even when prices on the international market were going up.
He said government should think of a poor Malawian adding that an increase in fuel affects prices of other commodities.
In Parliament last week, DPP spokesperson on finance in Parliament Joseph Mwanamvekha rejected President Lazarus Chakwera’s biblical analogy of Israelites heading to Canaan from Egypt, saying Chakwera has lost direction and instead of heading to Canaan, he is now “heading towards Baghdad, the capital city of Iraq!”
Mwanamvekha, who was the last minister of Finance in the DPP administration booted out through the court-sanctioned fresh presidential election held on June 23 2020, said Malawians should brace for tough times, accusinfg government is failing to generate enough forex reserves.
“Malawians should brace for tougher times ahead as they will scramble for the little foreign exchange reserves.
“If they are lucky to get these reserves, they will get them at a much higher price than it was under the DPP government,” he said.
The cost of fuel has a significant impact on the pricing of goods and services; hence, Malawians—already reeling from the pressure of reduced buying power and a depreciating kwacha—will likely be affected by the fuel prices hike, according to Chancellor College-based economist Ben Kaluwa.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :