People of Usisya in Nkhata Bay have expressed disappointment with the price of sugar in the area; currently pegged at K750 instead of K620 in retail outlets nationwide.
As John Msuku of Chizizimu I, Traditional Authority (T/A) M’bwana said on Tuesday, the hike in prices of basic goods has made their lives hard as most of them fail to access them.
“As you are aware people of Usisya have an intimate relationship with tea; hence, the raising of sugar prices is like breaking a relationship that has existed for centuries,” he said.
Msuku further cited the poor road network in the area as a major challenge for the rural masses to access their needs from Mzuzu which is about 80 kilometres away.
Hellings Msiska, who owns a shop at Kawanda in the area, said high transportation fares are to blame for the hike in commodity prices. He said for instance, a bale of sugar costs them an extra K500 in transportation fares, forcing them to raise retail prices.
Usisya is one of the hard to reach areas in the country with a poor road network; rendering communication difficult mostly during rainy seasons as the earth road becomes impassable. Sugar is manufactured locally at Nchalo in Chikwawa and Dwangwa in Nkhotakota.