Minibus Operators Riot
Minibus operators torch two police offices in Machinjiri

Irate minibus operators in Blantyre the commercial city of Malawi ?on Friday morning? two police offices in Machinjiri, one of the high-populated township in the city.

The two offices are Khama and Nkolokoti police units according to our source.

According to our source, there is fear that the fracas may develop into violence and spread through other parts of the city. This is because, as what usually happens in civil strife, other people are joining the minibus operators in blocking roads, while the police try to disperse them.

 

“Things are not fine here, if good measures are not taken to calm dawn the angry minibus operators, the fracas will not end,” said our source from Machinjiri.

He added that “as I am talking, two police offices have been torched, while many roads are blocked, and people are now going to torch other police offices.”

 

It is reported that the police decision to use teargas canisters to disperse the minibus operators, is adding fuel to the angry strikers and likely lead to the increase of violence in the city.

 

Reports that are reaching Maravi Post indicate that the fracas has also disrupted students who are writing Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) exams in some areas in the city, such as Christian Academy (former Elma High School) in Manase.

 

The minibus operators vowed not leave the streets until the Road Traffic Directorate accept their demand of abolishing the new road policies.

 

Among the said policies include sending to jail minibus drivers and conductors that are found defying road traffic rules and regulations, especially if they fail to pay fines.

 

Minibus operators argue that the fine has been raised abnormally and that the policies are aimed at destroying their businesses.

Maravi Post has established that minibus operators have also been barred from carrying bags of maize or any other big luggage in their minibuses.

 

However, national police spokesperson James Kadadzera, said the quoted policies are the old ones, but the traffic police had in the past not used them.

 

He said the traffic police decided to enforce those old policies, as measure to reduce road accidents.

 

“These are not new policies as said by the minibus operators. They are the old ones and we believe that they will help to reduce road accidents, especially if they are enforced,” said Kadadzera.

 

Meanwhile, minibus operators in Mzuzu have disclosed that they will also go onto the street tomorrow (Saturday).

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