More than 200 local transporters have formed a parallel body to respond to what they say are challenges and irregularities rocking the haulage sector.
The new grouping, Transporters Association (2016) Malawi, comes in the face of the existing Road Transport Operators Association (Rtoa) which has been their representative body all along.
The new transporters’ body has since held meetings in Lilongwe and Blantyre and an interim committee headed by Blantyre-based transporter Sameer Suleman has been formed.
Ironically, a majority of the members of the newly-established association still belong to Rtoa with others holding positions in its hierarchy.
Rtoa executive director Chrissy Flao was not immediately available to comment on the implications of the new association on the haulage business.
But Suleman said in an interview last week the transporters were frustrated with the manner in which their grievances are being handled; hence, coming up with the new association.
He said there are a number of irregularities affecting operations of local transporters, a development which has compelled them to speak with one voice to save the business from collapse.
Suleman, who owns Sammy’s Transport Contractors, said they will fight for fair rates and act as a link between government, manufacturing companies and transporters.
“There is a government standard rate of K75 per tonne per kilometre but there are other manufacturers who defy that and pay as little as K40. We want to end this conduct.
“In addition, foreign transporters, particularly from Mozambique, have now taken up 80 percent of business, leaving 20 percent to us. This is unacceptable and against the international requirements,” he said.
Other interim committee members of the new association are Lazarous Jalang’ombe of Ajala Transport in Lilongwe (vice-chairperson), Amir Samamad of Amba Trucking and Esnart Sukasuka of Zagaf Transport both in Blantyre are secretary and vice-secretary respectively.
Treasurer is Ashif Patel of Lilongwe-based AS Investments whose deputy is Rodney Chatama of Zachilomwe Transport in Blantyre.