Minibus operators say the current fuel scarcity in most parts of the country is impacting negatively on their business as the minibus operators are forced to buy the commodity on black market.
Fuel on black market costs twice or more than it costs at fuel pump
Minibus operators are just one section of society hit hard by the fuel scarcity in the country.
Fuel problems bite
Over the past few days, some parts of the country have faced fuel shortages as a result of limited fuel supply due to what authorities say scarcity of forex.
Peter Mvalo, the Chairperson of the Minibus Owners Association of Malawi said the situation is significantly disrupting their business activities.
Mvalo has called upon Malawi Regulatory Authority (MERA) authorities to take action against individuals who are illicitly selling fuel at exorbitant prices, as high as K5000 per litre, which is five times the market rate.
The Chairperson said the situation is forcing minibus operators who are buying fuel from these unscrupulous sources to raise their fares, to the disadvantage of the passengers.
Motorists in Malawi are back to long winding queues in fuel filling stations as some parts of the country, especially Blantyre and some districts in the southern region, are experiencing sporadic fuel scarcity.
Some motorists have resorted to inquire from social media platforms where fuel is found.
Lack of fuel in pump stations lead to motorists resorting to the black market where they buy the commodity at an exorbitant price.
Mera spokesperson Fitina Khonje said the prevailing forex challenge has affected the flow of fuel supplies.
Some parts of the country have for the past few days been experiencing dry pumps, especially for petrol.
In Blantyre, for instance, the situation is worse as most filling stations have run out of of the commodity, with motorists stuck in queues waiting for the delivery of the commodity.
In mid September, 2023, the country received 446,000 litres of fuel.
The Petroleum Importers Limited (PIL) has offloaded about 800, 000 litres of petrol and 700, 000 litres of diesel brought by rail from Nacala in Mozambique.