Demonstrations that Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) have been staging since August, 2019 are said to have been blamed for damage of over 40 minibuses that commute between Lilongwe and Mchinji.
Mchinji Drivers Association has told Malawi News Agency that the commuter minibuses have had their wind screens smashed, a development which the association blames HRDC leadership for.
‚ÄúOur business has been hugely affected since August last year because of the demonstrations that HRDC has been staging in the name of championing human rights.
‚ÄúEvery time they organize demonstrations, we have people at Msundwe Trading Centre masquerading as demonstrators stoning at our buses, and our records now show that about 40 minibuses have had wind screens smashed out at Msundwe,‚ÄĚ Vice Chairperson for the Association, Andy Mdala claimed.
He said in certain instances they have been forced to pay money to certain individuals in order to have clear passage at the Msundwe trading centre.
Mdala said the development has resulted in loss of revenue since they have been forced to use money collected from passengers on board to pay for their passage.
‚ÄúThe said demonstrators have in certain instances demanded cash as much as K 10 000 to grant us passage, and that affected our revenue since we make about k 20 000 per trip,‚ÄĚ he said.
Mdala added that due to accumulative drop of revenue, some employers have opted to pull out their buses from the Mchinji-Lilongwe route, which he says has resulted in some drivers becoming jobless.
‚ÄúIn certain instances, we have had to use different routes like Nsalu. This has been costing us an extra Mk 5000 on fuel. As a result, some minibus owners have opted to pull out their buses and as I speak, some drivers are now jobless,‚ÄĚ he said.
Efforts to talk to HRDC leadership proved futile as HRDC chairperson,
recommended his vice, Gift Trapence, who made reference to Billy Mayaya who has since not been responding to a questionnaire sent to him.
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