The Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has called on President Lazarus Chakwera to fire the most protected National Oil Company of Malawi (Nocma) acting Chief Executive Cfficer Hellen Buluma for presiding over the fuel crisis.
Apart from Buluma, the organization has further called on the President to fire the underperforming ministers and officers and hire people that will help him deliver his agenda, as one way of rebooting the system.
For about two months now, the country has been experiencing incessant fuel shortages.
Filling stations are dry, food prices have shot above the roof and there is hardly any forex on the market to enable any sensible business to operate.
Addressing the media in Lilongwe, HRDC Chairperson Gift Trapence said Chakwera, amidst this man-made crisis, has continued with his globe-trotting sojourns, in the process externalising the vital forex that could have been used to procure fuel.
“When he is at home, President Chakwera has been on the road every week for events that he can delegate to ministers and other government officials. All the while Malawians continue to spend sleepless nights on fuel queues.
“People can no longer travel due to the unavailability of fuel. If they do, then they have to pay excessively higher fares. In public hospitals, ambulances have no fuel to ferry the sick to health facilities which has led to preventable deaths. And due to frequent blackouts, hospitals cannot conduct surgical procedures as there is no fuel to run the generators.
“People are dying right in the hospitals as a direct result of the government’s failure to address the fuel and electricity problems. We are yet to see a real commitment by this government to solve the perennial electricity challenges.
“This same administration promised to install more than 1,000 megawatts of electricity but there is no single step in that direction thus far.Businesses are choking to death. Whenever fuel is available, the huge cost has pushed the prices of all-important commodities to unprecedented levels.
“Unfortunately, the same Malawians that sacrificed their time and resources to usher in the current administration are now paying a heavy price. Consumers now have to dig deeper into their pockets to put food on their tables and travel to business, school or work,” he said.
HRDC has given government to fix the fuel problem within 21 days.