The Minibus Owners Association of Malawi (MOAM) says it still feels so pressed with the toll gate fees despite being revised.
Government gazetted revised toll gate fees on 7th January, 2022. According to information gathered by Nyasa Times, light vehicles in Class 1A are supposed to pay K1,000.00 just like pickups which are in Class 1B while minibuses which are in Class 1C are supposed to pay K2,000.00.
17 to 31 passenger vehicles with rear double tyres which are in Class 2A are supposed to pay K4,000.00 and this is also applicable to 2 to 5 tonne vehicles with rear double tyres (Class 2B) and vehicles with above 5 to 10 tonnage (Class 3). Vehicles above 10 tonnes (Class 4) are supposed to pay K5,000.00. Abnormal loads in Class 5 will be charged K20,000.00.
Malawi has a toll gate at Chingeni in Balaka district and another one will soon be operational at Kalinyeke in Dedza district.
But minibus owners in the country lament that the fees are still exorbitant considering the fact that they also pay call boys as they run their business.
General Secretary for MOAM, Coxley Kamange, told the local media that the association wants government to stop the operations of call boys so that minibuses should be operating without them. The association is proposing a further reduction of toll gate fees for minibuses from K2,000.00 to K500.00.
"K2,000.00 is still high for us. We have been asking government to consider K500.00 as toll gate fees for minibuses. You are aware that soon another toll gate will be established at Kalinyeke. Minibuses that pass through Kalinyeke do shunt to and from and so K2,000.00 is just too high.
"Last year on 7th November, the Minister of Information promised to get rid of call boys. We are still waiting for implementation of the same so that the money which we can save by not paying call boys can be paid at the toll gate. We are not satisfied with these fees. These fees are a heavy burden on us," remarked Kamange.
Malawi has had no toll gates since independence in 1964 until their introduction by the Tonse Alliance government in 2021.