Written by YAMIKANI SIMUTOWE
BLANTYRE—The Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) has warned of ‘chaos’ and more consumer demonstrations following the hiking of fuel prices by Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA) on Saturday.
Cama executive director John Kapito feels vindicated on why Cama has been speaking against the automatic fuel pricing system adopted by the Malawi government last year.
He said that the new prices would push up the prices of basic commodities, thereby rising further the cost of living in the country.
MERA announced that petrol has gone up from K606.30 per litre to K704.30, representing a 16.16 percent rise, diesel from K597.40 to K683.60, representing a 14.45 percent adjustment, while paraffin is selling at K591.90, from K509.90.
“The issue of automatic pricing mechanism and floatation of the Kwacha are some of the issues raised in our petition. The Kwacha is getting weaker and weaker everyday resulting in the fuel prices adjustment,” said Kapito.
Kapito further observed that the floatation of the currency can't work in Malawi, claiming that country has no exports to raise the much needed foreign exchange.
The Cama boss also indicated the 21-day ultimatum they gave the government over economic hardship expires on February 15 but Pres Joyce Banda’s administration hasn't responded to the petition.
“We wish to inform all consumers in Malawi that we have not yet received any communication from government on the issues we raised and submitted to government in our January 17th 2013.
“We are also aware that consumers throughout the country are proposing a number of actions in case government fails to respond, but as a consumer body, we are appealing and requesting all of you to refrain from any action before the deadline of the petition.
“We believe and hope that before the 15th of February 2013, government will respond to the issues and engage us in discussions and dialogue over the issues we submitted on your behalf,” reads a statement co-signed by Kapito and human rights activists Jessie Kabwila-Kapasula, Hebrews Misomali and Isaac Gondwe.
(c) The Maravi Post 2013