Written by RAPHAEL TENTHANI
BLANTYRE--The Malawi Economic Justice Network (MEJN), a think-tank, has attacked the Malawi government's yo-yo stance on fuel prices, saying such indecisiveness may make people lose confidence in government.
The Malawi Energy Authority (MERA), a regulatory body for petroleum products, Wednesday night announced fuel prices would go up Thursday morning only to reverse the decision the same night.
MERA spokesman Edward Mponda ascribed the dramatic about-turn to "technical glitches".
But MEJN Executive Director Dalitso Kubalasa described the indecision as "unfortunate".
"I hope it will be properly explained and justified before people stop taking them seriously," he said.
Government sources say the Joyce Banda administration feared it would lose popularity to have two fuel hikes in as many months. But Kubalasa said the Banda administration, through MERA, should have considered everything before taking a decision.
"Before making any decision they should thoroughly think through the political and economic implications," he said.
Had the fuel price hike, scheduled to take effect on Thursday October the 4th, been effected petrol pump prices would have gone up 5.79 per cent from 539 Malawi kwacha (about US $1.8) to 570.20 Malawi kwacha (about US $1.9) per litre while diesel would have gone up to 554.80 (about US $1.8) from 521.90 Malawi kwacha (about US $1.7), representing a 6.3 per cent rise.
Prices of fuel in Malawi are set to oscillate frequently following government decision not only to devalue the kwacha by 49 per cent but also let it float to find its value based on prevailing market trends.
© The Maravi Post 2012. Reproduction without acknowledgement prohibited