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MV-Ilalla withdrawn

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By Mandy Pondani:

Malawi Shipping Company (MSC) has announced that it would withdraw the country’s main marine vessel (MV) Ilalla from Lake Malawi from June 7 2019.

In a statement released on Tuesday, MSC says the vessel would undergo routine mechanical service to ensure that it remains seaworthy.

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“Malawi Shipping Company (MSC) wishes to inform its valued passengers that it will be withdrawing the MV Ilalla from service on June 7th 2019, in order to undergo her annual refit,” the statement reads.

Spokesperson for Mota- Engil, concessioners of the vessels, Thomas Chafunya, said the vessel might be off waters for three weeks.

Chafunya said MV Chilembwe is the alternative for people from Monkey Bay, Usisya, Rula and Likoma who rely on the vessel.

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“The MV Chilembwe will immediately take charge of the voyages. The MV Ilalla fares will apply on MV Chilembwe services,” Chafunya said.

The last time MV Ilalla was suspended from its routine voyages was in January 2018.

Likoma Island resident Godfrey Manda hailed MSC for introducing MV Chilembwe as the alternative vessel, but complained of the slow progress on the project to construct a jetty.

He said since the then Transport minister, Jappie Mhango, laid a foundation stone ahead of the tripartite elections, the islanders have not heard from the authorities on the project.

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