As one way of updating one another on latest fuel supplies at gas stations, Malawians are using Facebook in advising where they can fill up their tanks. Over 210 subscribers share updates on an open group called Malawi Fuel Watch:
Fuel shortages are said to continue … if you know there s fuel somewhere let others know so that they can spend less time looking around … also if you have hit a wall somewhere share it so that others don't hit the same wall!
Malawians have been queuing up for hours for fuel since last year. Malawi's Natural Resources Energy and Mining Minister Grain Malunga indicated that he was going to resign over fuel crisis. He later changed his mind.
In February, 2011, Malawian police in Lilongwe detained the organizers of demonstrations against the chronic fuel crisis.
One of the subscribers Monday evening posted:
Petroda pa Kameza no long Qs the attendants ali Bo akuserver fast and there are more pumps i only spent 8 minutes ndathira!!!”
Today, Herbert Nkhoma wrote:
Plenty of diesel and petrol at Chileka BP
Later, he added this information:
they were allowing K3000.00 only per vehicle
Tione Makawa wrote:
Tuesday, 14 June 2011
LILONGWE AND THE CENTRE
THERE IS STILL PETROL AT:
• M1 – Bunda T-off (To finish By Noon)
Andrew Matambo wrote:
Petrol at Constantin Total Filling Station next to Angoni Car Spares & Accessories in Old Town
Aubrey announced that his friend was selling petrol:
Some friend is selling petrol 20 Litres at 2pin per 5 litres if u are desperate tiwuzeni ife tathira kale dzulo!!!!
Group creators and administrators Fredrick Bvalani and Kondwani Chirembo said that they created the group to save fuel other than hopping from station to station. Responding to a question I sent to his Facebook page, Bvalani said:
We felt there was a need to share info about where we could to (avoid) the tendency of hopping from filling station to filling station using up the little fuel that remained in the tank. Also if one person in the group hits a blank wall at one filling station he would spare the other members a fruitless trip to the same station.
Natural Resources Energy and Mining Minister Grain Malunga was last week reported to have said that Malawians should get used to fuel shortages. Malawi has for more than a year now suffered erratic fuel supplies negatively affecting thousands of motorists, passengers and businesses.
The situation is blamed on President Bingu wa Mutharika's government failure to manage the forex shortages, donor relations and other internal national concerns.
Malawi is currently suffering lack of strong opposition to the DPP led government. The civil society has since been silenced on fuel demonstrations.