The Road Transport Operators Association (Rtoa) says Malawian transporters are being forced to abandon the Beira route in Mozambique for Dar es Salaam in Tanzania due to attacks as tension and conflict between Renamo and Frelimo escalate.
Rtoa executive director Chrissy Flao in an interview on Thursday said that there has been a rise in attacks on fuel-carrying trucks on the Beira route.
However, Flao feared the route being opted for has high operation costs which might affect businesses in the country.
“Issues of safety have been [a concern for transporters] and attacks are dangerous for the drivers’ safety and also for the security of the products.
“Unlike the Beira route, the distance from Dar es Salaam to Lilongwe is very long [around 995 kilometres while from Beira it is 668 kilometres] which also ups the cost of operations. As a result, businesses are being affected,” she said.
Recently, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Francis Kasaila said that a delegation from Malawi will be going to Mozambique to discuss various issues, including challenges facing transporters.
Kasaila disclosed that the delegation follows another meeting Malawian officials had with their counterparts from Mozambique, Zambia, South Africa and Zimbabwe on how they can facilitate movement of trade on the Beira and Tete corridors in the wake of the conflict.