Africa-Press – Malawi. The Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA) has shut down Murray Total service station in Lilongwe after attendants were caught overcharging fuel prices.
According to MERA’s consumer affairs officer Vitumbiko Sakala, the development follows several complaints which the regulatory authority received from motorists about the unfair trading practice at the service station which is in Area 4.
Sakala told the local media that attendants at the fuel station took advantage of the current fuel scarcity in the country and started charging beyond the recommended pump prices of both diesel and petrol.
Acting on the complaints, Sakala said the regulatory authority rushed to the scene to verify the information which they received about the overcharging, a development which was followed by the sealing of the fuel station.
“We received a complaint that the service station was overcharging customers who wanted to access fuel. MERA sets the recommended pump prices and the prices which customers were buying fuel from this station, were not the recommended ones.
“When we came to investigate, we found out that it was true, so because of that we have suspended sales here. We have asked the service station to make sure that they rectify their internal control so that the situation should not occur again,” said Sakala.
Sakala has since warned other fuel service stations who are into the malpractice to immediately stop claiming the regulatory authority will not hesitate to act on complaints about overcharging customers amid the fuel crisis.
He further indicated that the station will remain closed for the next two weeks when the regulatory authority will review the situation and consider the way forward.
Meanwhile, Murray Total service station supervisor Ganizani Banda has apologised to the general public for the malpractice which he said will not happen again.
Currently, the recommended pump prices for petrol is K1,746.00 per litre, diesel is at K1,920.00 per litre, paraffin at K1,261 per litre while price for liquefied petroleum gas is K2,600.