Leader of Opposition in Parliament Kondwani Nankhumwa has asked President Lazarus Chakwera to reduce his local and international trips and save money for subsiding fuel prices in the country.
Nankhumwa, who is also Vice President for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), was speaking on Wednesday after visiting shops and markets in Blantyre to appreciate the fluctuation of prices of goods following the recent fuel price hike.
According to Nankhumwa the recent fuel price hike has left most Malawians, who are already struggling to make ends meet, more miserable.
“I wish to request President Chakwera and his Tonse government to explore actionable strategies to mitigate the social and economic impact of fuel price increases.
Desperate times calls for desperate measures. The President and his ministers could consider reducing official trips within Malawi and abroad and save money to subsidize fuel price during this Covid-19 pandemic crisis,” said Nankhumwa
He further said: “You are well aware that the government has imposed many levies on every litre of fuel. I wish to request the President and his government to review and completely remove some of these levies as they are an unnecessary burden on ordinary Malawians, most of whom do not even own cars or motorcycles.
“It is indeed unfortunate that all these fuel hikes have taken place while the salaries of civil servants and others have remained stagnant. The unemployed and poor peasant farmers in the villages will have to bear the brunt of poverty and increased inequality most in these circumstances.”
On Tuesday, Minister of Information, Gospel Kazako said Tonse Alliance government could not manage to control the increase of fuel prices in the country as fuel prices hike is currently a global concern.
Kazako further said that government is concerned with the increase of fuel prices in the country however he said the challenge is inevitable.
In his remarks MERA Chief Executive Officer, Henry Kachaje said that the hiking of fuel prices was made using Automatic Pricing Mechanism (APM) which was adopted in 2012 and he said through this system prices are adjusted when the change in the landed cost is beyond the negative or positive five percent trigger band.
He also said that, the current fuel prices increase were not able to be controlled as MERA is facing a shortage of Price Stabilization Fund which is used to control fuel prices when it has been hiked globally.
At the moment, Petrol is selling at K1, 150. 00 per litre from K899. 20 per litre representing a 27. 89 percent increase, Diesel is selling at K1, 120 per litre from K899. 00 per litre representing an increase of 24. 72 percent and Paraffin is now at K833. 20 per litre from 719. 60 per litre, representing an increase of 15. 79 percent.