Malawi Govt. Bows to Bon Kalindo's Demands - Reduces Tollgate Fees

1 December 2021

The Tonse Alliance led Government has bowed down to comedian cum disgruntled politician, Bon Kalindo's demands to reduce the cost of living.

As a consequence of Kalindo's demands, which led to protests, Malawi Government spokesperson Gospel Kazako has announced the reduction in tollgate fees at Chingeni toll plaza.

According to Kazako, who is the Minister of Information this changes in pricing at the newly-minted tollgate this will mean that minibus drivers will now be paying K2, 000 to pass, K1, 400 less than they were scheduled to pay.

Kazako made the announcement in Lilongwe Tuesday night after a seven-hour closed door discussion with lead organiser of demonstrations against high cost of living, Bon Kalindo, and others who are supporting his cause.

Kalindo, popularly known by his stage moniker, Winiko, who is also former MP and an erstwhile senior executive member and director of Youth for UTM also demanded that president Lazarus Chakwera should stop 'garavanting' around presiding over each and every function to save government money.

Earlier on Tuesday, President Chakwera through Secretary to the President and Cabinet (SPC) Zangazanga Chikhosi, announced that the Malawi leader has with immediate effect stopped making public appearances.

However, it is not known if Chakwera's decision to stop public appearances is a direct response to Kalindo's demands or because of something else.

Kalindo says, however, street protests meant for Mzuzu scheduled for Wednesday shall proceed as planned.

The Comedian, Bon Kalindo last Friday led a protest against the Lazarus Chakwera government over demands to deal with prevailing rising cost of living and high levels of youth unemployment in the country.

Kalindo resigned from the party, UTM, which ironically is part of other eight political parties that won the 2020 presidential election as Tonse Alliance, is accusing his party of not taking Chakwera to task over what he terms as maladministration.

"There just no way we can have the youth labouring to fetch jobs when we have in place a one million job creation call by this leadership.

"Actually, the youth form our largest percent. What does it entail when we don't empower them. I want them to access loans and opportunities, that is the backbone of this country" said Kalindo.

In an interview with Rainbow Television last week, Kalindo said the government has also not portrayed any intentions to deal with an imminent rise in basic commodities including the introduction of so many tax havens.

UTM, through its publicist, Frank Tumpale Mwenefumbo said Kalindo should have resorted to dialogue first.

President Chakwera told a gathering recently that people have to reckon the fact that prices of goods and services have gone up across the world and that Malawi is no exception.

Chakwera, therefore, called on Malawians for patience and insisted that his government is setting measures to cushion people from various economic challenges.

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