Roads Fund Administration (RFA) has disclosed that Kalinyeke Tollgate in Dedza District is set to open before January ends, albeit with reduced fees.
The Authority has indicated that it was waiting for the government to gazette the revised fees, which are lower than what motorists are paying at Chingeni Toll Plaza.
After an outcry in November last year, the government announced that it had reduced fees at Chingeni but the adjusted fees were not implemented as officials claim that they are waiting for gazetting processes to be finalised.
The government— through Cabinet ministers including Justice Minister Titus Mvalo, National Unity Minister Timothy Mtambo and Information Minister Gospel Kazako— announced after meeting public demonstrations organiser Bon Kalindo that, among other charges, minibus fees would be reduced from K3,500 to K2,000, those applicable to buses would be trimmed from K8,500 to K5,000 and that ordinary vehicles would be paying K1,200 from the current K1, 700.
In the latest development, RFA spokesperson Masauko Ngwaluko told The Daily Times yesterday that they would soon open the other tollgate.
“We will make sure that we start with the revised tariffs. Once the government announces [the opening of the newly constructed tollgate in Dedza], we want to make sure that Kalinyeke starts on another sheet in terms of tariffs,” he said.
He could, however, not be drawn to comment on how much the authority had realised in the first two months of Chingeni Toll Plaza’s operations.
Ngwaluko said they would intensify sensitisation campaigns to make all motorists understand that gate collections are used for road network improvement.
When Chingeni Toll opened two months ago, there was an outcry from the public that the initial fees were exorbitant.
Recently, Kalindo threatened to hold vigils at Chingeni Tollgate Plaza if the government failed to reduce the gate fees.
Mathews Kasanda is a journalist who holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from University of Malawi (The Polytechnic).
In 2015, Media Institute of Southern Africa awarded him the Best Print Media Education Journalist of the Year accolade.
He joined Times Group Newsroom in September 2019.