Transporters Association of Malawi (TAM) plans to stage nationwide demonstrations next Monday to protest government’s failure to ensure equitable distribution of business in the transportation sector.
The association has been advocating for 60-40 percent road transport business distribution, with locals getting 60 percent and foreigners getting the remaining 40 percent.
The other grievance is that transport rates dictated by government remain low, making the transport owners fail to meet the newly agreed minimum wage of K100 000 per driver.
In an interview on Monday, the association’s chairperson Lyton Zombe said: “We have been discussing with government to increase transportation rates, but they still maintain the same rates.
“So, we have thought it wise to stop all vehicles transporting goods to and from the country,” he said.
But Minister of Transport and Public Works Ralph Jooma said in a separate interview on Monday there is no need for the transporters to demonstrate, adding that government is working with their association to sort out the issues.
“We agreed with them on business share of 60-40 that it can only be enforced by the association and not government,” he said.
Jooma said he has written service providers to accept the changes on the 60-40 arrangement, adding that the ministry is still having discussions on the issues of rates. In October last year, truck drivers engaged in a two-day industrial action demanding a pay rise from K30 000, a development which resulted in the grounding of 1 000-plus trucks nationwide.