Even on Sundays, by 9:30 am business is in full swing in Limbe. But at this time yesterday, Blantyre City’s business hub was literally a ghost town with most shops closed.
The few people in town were those stranded as no minibuses were in sight for commuting services.
The development follows a minibus drivers’ sit-in report on social media that traffic police have introduced new road regulations and fines.
One of the affected passengers from Bangwe Township, Michael Chirwa, said yesterday’s situation is not healthy for entrepreneurs who rely on minibuses for transportation of goods.
“I have lost business today [yesterday]. By 7am, I was supposed to deliver goods to customers but I failed. The town is like a war zone as people are late for their endeavours,” said Chirwa.
Early in the morning, some drivers were on the road providing the service but could not sustain it because of threats from their fellow drivers.
One of the drivers, Fatchi Madani, by day break had made two trips between Limbe and Blantyre, but could not continue.
But some drivers slotted in drama skills to convince protesting drivers who had mounted roadblocks at Banja La Mtsogolo (BLM) junction along Midima Highway in Bangwe Township to allow them safe passage.
Emmanuel Lapuken, driver from Chitakale in Mulanje, had to pretend the passengers were mourners from heading to Machinjiri Township.
“That was the only way to get to Limbe or I could have dumped them there. Now, I have to sit back and monitor the situation with fellow drivers,” said Lapuken, laughing. n