Transport minister Yamfwa Mukanga has told bus operators not to increase bus fares because they have already made profits.
Mukanga who was recently described as an idiot by president Michael Sata told Daily Mail that it is not necessary for bus operators to increase fares because they have made a lot of profits.
“It is not necessary to increase bus fares. We want to come and hear their point so that I can know what they are trying to do.
“Why do they want an increase in bus fares, how much is the increase in fuel prices and what increase are they talking about?’ Asked Mukanga
He told bus operators to follow procedure before increasing fares.
Mukanga also said bus operators should not blackmail Government in a bid to increase bus fares.
“Already, they have been making profits in their transport business. But if they feel they have an issue which they need to address, they should just address it rather than giving us a condition, it is not acceptable. It is blackmail,” Mukanga said.
On Sunday, Capital Buses proprietor Ishmail Khankara said an increase in bus fares is inevitable because of the hike in the pump prices of petroleum products and depreciation of the Kwacha
Mr Khankara said if contravening of traffic regulations by some bus drivers and extortion of money by callboys is not stopped, bus operators will be compelled to increase fares.
Last Thursday, the Energy regulation Board (ERB) increased pump prices of petroleum products by between 7.22 percent and 9.54 percent while the wholesale prices were hiked by 11.5 percent.