Delay in construction of bus depot at Chitipa boma worries bus operators

Chitipa District Council is failing to construct a bus depot at the boma rendering bus operators to fight over departure and arrival points.

The current Chitipa Bus Station

The development has created conflict among the bus operators, claiming ownership of the areas.

There was disagreement between the newly launched bus company, Captain Tours and Interline Bus Company a few days ago over the places.

Speaking in an interview, chairperson for Chitipa District Council, Wedson Sinkhonde said years have gone since the council decided to construct the bus depot.

“The decision to construct the bus depot dates years back, but as a council we are failing to implement it.

“We sometimes fail to pay our workers in time because we are unable to collect enough revenue, and we feel that the bus depot could be one of the ways to boost our revenue base,” said Sinkhonde.

The construction of Karonga -Chitipa tarmac road has fastened the cross border trade as such Malawians are increasingly traveling to Tunduma in the neighboring Tanzania for shopping.

This has further led some bus companies to operate in Chitipa, and currently there are four bus companies that are operating from Chitipa boma to Mzuzu or Lilongwe.

However, speaking in a separate interview, Director of Planning and Development (DPD) for Chitipa District Council, Tamanya Harawa said currently the council does not have funds for the construction of the bus depot, adding that they are still lobbying for funds from the central government and other donor partners.

“We are still lobbying for funds from the central government, but also from some external donors, and once the resources are available we will commence the construction of the depot,” said Harawa.

Harawa said the council plans to construct the depot at the old market, and that all traders will be allocated to the new market.

Efforts to talk to the spokesperson for Treasury, Davis Sado proved futile as his mobile phone number went unavailable.

But, spokesperson for the Ministry of Local Government, Muhlabase Mughogho said her ministry through the Local Development Fund (LDF) has been supporting some councils with funds for construction of infrastructures like stadiums and depots, however, she was not sure if funds for Chitipa bus depot were readily available.

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