Human Right Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has demanded revision of the controversial tollgate fees; arguing the initiative requires accountability on funds administration and usage.

In a statement, HRDC Chairperson Gift Trapence argues government is being unreasonable to Malawians by adding more high fees and taxes.

“It is an open secret that more than half of the earnings if Malawians go back to State coffers through taxes. It is like government is milking a thin cow; a development that is shameful and deplorable,” reads part of the statement.

Government’s gazetted and released toll fees earlier this week and many people described the fees as exorbitant.

Among others, at a time of passing through a toll payment point, light vehicles will pay K1 700, K3 400 for minibuses and pickups, K5 100 for vehicles with between 17 to 31 passengers capacity with two to five tonnes, K8 000 for vehicles with 10 tonnes capacity while for abnormal load vehicles, they will be require to pay K20 000.

Consumer Association of Malawi (CAMA) Executive Director John Kapito said: “We should not compare Malawi with other countries because other countries have quality roads and we are of different economic status. Our roads are in bad shape. Perhaps, we could have started on a lower rate so that we should raise the tariff over time.”

Government is yet to comment on the matter.

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