The Centre for Law and Policy has chimed in over the opening of the toll gate at Chingeni.
In it's publication they questions and discuss whether the facility is a revenue or a traffic control tool.
Former Justice of Supreme Court of Appeal, Dunstain Mwaungulu writes:
A conflict of purpose? Are tolls supposed to be a revenue tool or a traffic control tool?
This question raises the issue, how was the toll fee arrived at?
If the aim was to raise revenue, then in the toll we have just created a monster that government will play with as long as government is in dire need or wants to finance legislators' salaries.
The legislators and ministers appetite to affect salaries is matched with the desire to raise more taxes and create more avenues to tax us. I hate it for that reason.
This requires a comparison among 3 countries from whom we aped the tolls. In England, assuming my stats are correct, a toll fee averages £1.18.
The minimum monthly wage is around US$1, 200.
In South Africa, the toll is approximately US$3.6.The minimum wage monthly is $300 per a month.
In Malawi, the toll is almost US$2.0.The monthly minimum salary is $50. So what are we doing to ourselves?
The truth is that Malawians are not poor. So government can tax us at will.
And we sit there unsuspecting trying to copy programmes which in jurisdictions where we borrow from the toll is a means to control traffic and barely to overload the public. Why?
Because in the UK, you have more cars to a family. In London alone, there must be 3 million cars or thereabouts. The toll survives on economies of scale.
Imagine trying to raise money to build a road at is it at K1 billion per a kilometre! And you are trying to raise money from about 20,000 cars in Malawi. That is a TALL TOLL