Sep 24, 2017 Last Updated 10:33 AM, Sep 22, 2017
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The Blantyre City Council (BCC) has entered preliminary stages of constructing parkades in Malawi’s commercial capital towards addressing parking space challenges.

The Council has, through the Private Public Partnership Commission, started looking for a contractor to help in the designing and construction of the said structure.

The city has an acute shortage of parking space which has seen the council turning some of the roads into one way passages to create space.

On the other hand, the shortage is also exacerbated by companies occupying various buildings who have a tendency of barring public access to roadside parking within their premises.

Speaking to Capital FM, BCC’s Director of Leisure, Culture and Environmental Services Sylvester Mitini Nkhoma confirmed that processes towards the construction of the parkades have started.

Nkhoma however could not give specific details on when the actual construction works would commence.

Motorists that spoke to this reporter described the BCC’s plans as a welcome developed since finding parking space in the CBD is a nightmare they endure almost on a daily basis.

Meanwhile, the PPP Commission has started inviting proposals for Consultants to conduct a Feasibility Study on the same.

The Blantyre City Council (BCC) in Malawi's sounthern region district is coming under heavy criticism for failing to renovate bus depots in the city, including Mibawa Bus Stand.

According to concerned minibus drivers, the Council is not carrying out any activities to give the bus terminal a facelift.

This is despite the minibus operators paying MK100 fee every time they drop off or pick passengers at the depot.

Mibawa Depot is one of the busiest bus stations in the commercial city.

It is no wonder that out of the 6000 minibuses registered under the Minibus Owners Association of Malawi (MOAM) in the Southern Region, about 4000 operates in the city.

 From sunrise to sunset, the station is full of transit and parked minibuses, waiting for a turn to ferry people to various destinations.

Some of the minibuses go through the station for up to eight times a day, meaning that each bus can pay a total of at MK800 in a day.

This implies that close to MK2 million is collected, assuming those collecting the cash account for all the money.

Within 20 working days, the revenue collected at the Mibawa minibus depot in Blantyre should be hovering around MK40 million.

But the condition of Mibawa Bus stand at the moment is simply appalling. There is uncollected litter and potholes everywhere.

This leaves the minibus drivers and the conductors wondering as to what happens to the money they keep remitting to the council on a daily basis.

Those that spoke to Capital FM disclosed that they have been paying the council but no renovation has been made and this is worrying because they pay so much money on a daily basis.

One minibus driver went on further to say that since BCC took over the depot, not much has been done on the ground.

MOAM representatives of who were entrusted with the revenue collection before the council stepped in are equally in the dark on how the money is being used.

Coxley Kamange is the General Secretary for MOAM revealed that though it’s almost two years since the council took over and we have tried to engage them to take heed to our demands on numerous occasions.

The Blantyre City Council however claims they are ready to renovate and upgrade the depot once their court battle with MOAM gets resolved.

According to Grant Sichali who the Director of engineering services at the Council, they are in charge of such facilitates and they are currently working on constructing a big international bus depot in the commercial capital.

Analysis

Whatever the outcome of the court case, the public is watching with keen interest on the revenue being collected by the council at the Mibawa Bus terminal.

At the end of the day, minibus travellers require a good bus shelter where they can board and disembark buses in an orderly fashion.

Similarly, the drivers and the conductors need to be assured of a secure work environment, with beautiful surroundings.

That way, accidents such as the one that happened earlier in the year at the depot when passengers were injured after a huge tree fell on some minibuses, can be avoided.

Lilongwe has conceded that Malawi did benefit from its first investment forum.

Blantyre residents will now be easily traced in their respective locations, thanks to the newly launched postal identification program.

Rehabilitation works of the Chimwankhunda Living Waters turn-off to Zion road in Malawi’s commercial city of Blantyre have resumed.

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