The Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) says Malawians who cross the border into Mozambique to buy fuel are breaking the law.
Mozambican filling stations across the border at Biriwiri and Lizulu in Ntcheu are attracting Malawian motorists as their fuel costs about K100 less than in Malawi.
Mera chief executive officer Collins Magalasi said in an interview motorists are driving into Mozambique to buy fuel without immigration documents, which is unlawful.
He said: “We are considering engaging the Department of Immigration to help address the continuation of Malawian vehicles’ flouting of immigration procedures by fuelling at filling stations across the Malawi-Mozambique border in Ntcheu District.
“This could affect Mera’s revenue; hence, we have engaged the Mozambique energy regulator ARENE [Autoridade Reguladora de Ernergia] to intervene as this disrupts fuel planning in the country.”
According to Magalasi, people who buy fuel in Mozambique delay development in Malawi since they pay levy to the Mozambique Government.
However, the Malawi Immigration Department spokesperson Joseph Chauwa said the filling stations in question are outside their jurisdiction.
“The M1 road in most parts of that area [Ntcheu] marks the boundary between Malawi and Mozambique. It is practically difficult to restrict motorists from parking on either side of the road as it is not within the established crossing points,” he said.
Chauwa added that his department mounts roadblocks and conducts border patrols along that stretch to ensure people adhere to immigration requirements.