Petrol shortage wreaks havoc in Malawi



Endless queues snaking their way outside petrol stations have become a familiar sight in Malawi, which has been plagued by frequent petrol shortages over the past two years. The photo below was sent to us on Thursday by Madalitso Lowole, our Observer in the capital city of Lilongwe. He tells us that Malawi “is on its way to becoming just like Zimbabwe,” where petrol, food, and electricity shortages are frequent.


Malawi’s opposition has called for the resignation of President Bingu wa Mutharika, claiming he is leading the country to economic ruin. On Thursday, Mutharika announced he would not step down from power before the end of his term, in 2014. The same day, Human Rights Watch said it was concerned about evidence of increasingly repressive measures designed to silence the president's critics. Several opposition activists have been arrested in the past week.


Drivers wait in line for petrol. Video posted on March 13.