The consumer and human rights activist John Kapito has grilled Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA) for failing to cushion consumers when it effected fuel prices increase on Thursday evening.
However, kapito who is also Consumers Association of Malawi (CAMA) Executive Director has questioned why MERA failed to use funds in the Price Stabilization Fund (PSF) to cushion the consumer from the impact of such adjustment.
MERA on Thursday increased fuel prices with Petrol selling at K788.30 from K743.30, Diesel at K766.90 from K 722.80 and Paraffin is at K609.80 from K580.40.
“While CAMA appreciates the justifications to adjust the prices, we have noted with concern the failure by MERA to use the Price Stabilization Fund (PSF) to cushion the consumer from the impact of such adjustment. It is apparent that the increase in fuel prices will have an impact on already burdened consumers as prices of basic goods and services will also automatically adjust upwards,” said Kapito.
He added: “The MERA board is also silent on what happened with the K3 billion it illegally withdrew from Price Stabilization Fund (PSF) to purchase maize, which was contrary to the objectives why the fund was established. As consumers, we are worried at how MERA conducts itself for failing to consider the plight of poor Malawians who are being forced to pay more on basic goods and services due to failure by institutions like MERA to caution them using already set up mechanisms,”.
He has given MERA one week to refund the K3 billion and fuel levy consumers have been contributing throughout this month.