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Transporters react to pump price change

CRUCIAL—Public transport

Some commuters and public transport operators have expressed mixed feelings over last Sunday’s announcement by Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera), effecting a drop in diesel and paraffin prices.

Mera announced the drop in diesel price to K887 from K924 per litre while paraffin is now trading at K693.60 per litre from K710.50.

Some people who spoke with The Daily Times yesterday were pleased with the price drop; others feel the drop was not significant.

Mphatso Masamba, a minibus commuter in Blantyre, said it would have made greater impact if the drop was more significant coupled with a drop in petrol prices.

“The drop means that the authorities are finally thinking about us, the citizens. But the drop is so low, I doubt if minibus drivers would drop bus fares. To make matters worse, the price of petrol has not even changed. They need to reduce that price too,” Masamba said.

A minibus driver, John Kamanga, said a significant drop is needed for them to change their prices.

“If the price of petrol and diesel was to drop to K600 or K700, we would also drop our bus fares. This is very minimal”, Kamanga said.

A truck driver, Kondwani Maclean, said though the drop is welcome, it will not help truck drivers make more money.

Spot checks showed that paraffin, which is known to be used by poor households, is not readily available in most pump stations.

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