By Matthews Kasanda
Motorists continue paying old fees at Chingeni Toll Plaza despite the government’s announcement last week that the fees were reduced.
Information Minister Gospel Kazako announced that fees had been reduced immediately after engaging lead organiser of recent mass protests, Bon Kalindo, in an eight-hour long meeting.
Justice Minister Titus Mvalo and National Unity Minister Timothy Mtambo were part of the meeting, which took place on Wednesday last week.
Following the announcement, fees for minibuses were reduced from K3,500 to K2,000, those applicable to buses were reduced from K8,500 to K5,000 while taxis with red number plates were set to be paying K1,000 from K 1,700 to buy road space, with ordinary vehicles with black number plates parting ways with K1,200, down from K1,700.
However, a week after the announcement, motorists continue to pay the old fees.
“I have travelled through Chingeni Toll Plaza twice since the day the announcement was made and I have been paying the original K1,700. Attendants cannot explain. I believe it is a smokescreen. When will the reduced fees come into effect?” queried one of the motorists.
Another motorist raised similar sentiments.
Roads Fund Administration spokesperson Masauko Ngwaluko said a number of issues had to be addressed before the new fees could come into effect, including gazetting of the regulations.
“Otherwise, we are committed to following what the directive says,” Ngwaluko said.
Motorists, led by the Minibus Owners Association of Malawi, described the initial fees as exorbitant.
RFA is constructing another toll gate at Kalinyeke in Dedza District.