Malawi Post Corporation (MPC) has taken its buses off the roads, a move officials describe as strategic to pave way for inspection of the buses and conduct a refresher course for its drivers, only five months into the business.
A statement issued by MPC that The Daily Times has seen further indicates that the development follows the accident that happened on January 19 at Senzani in Ntcheu.
According to the statement, the busses are expected to be off the roads for four days and resume operations on Friday, January 24.
“This has been done to enable the corporation re-take steps and actions to ensure the safety of the passengers. Be it noted that this is being re-done despite having it conducted prior to the service introduction in view of the importance of passenger’s safety which the corporation upholds highly.
“The pull out of the bus service is meant to afford the corporation the following to be done; allow an independent assessor to re-run the buses road fitness test, re-assess the drivers’ fitness and skills,” reads the statement in part.
In an interview MPC spokesperson, Ida Nkolimbo, said the business was booming and received tremendous support from commuters.
She said the parastatal will lose nearly K15 million from the suspension of operations.
“We have been welcomed on the market and we do not intend to leave the business but this is normal that once in a while we engage examiners to check the buses and asses the drivers, it is more of a refresher course, more so we are currently employing new drivers. It is an activity that we can do in a day but we thought it wise to take our time for the safety of our customers,” Nkolimbo said.
Last year, MPC obtained a K700 million bank loan using its office complex in Blantyre as collateral to buy seven buses from China.
The corporation launched the bus business in September and were part of MPC’s business plan to expand its revenue base. MPC has been in a loss-making streak for years.
It is currently operating six out of the seven buses that were initially procured.