Following a road accident on Sunday night involving one of its buses, Malawi Posts Corporation (MPC) has temporarily suspended its bus operations to re-run safety checks.
A Post Bus Service vehicle was involved in an accident which saw 15 passengers sustaining minor injuries as the bus they were travelling in overturned at Likudzi area at Phalula in Balaka, along Zalewa-Chingeni M1 Road. This was the second major road accident since MPC launched the buses in October last year.
In a statement issued yesterday signed by MPC public relations manager Ida Nkolimbo, all buses have been withdrawn from yesterday to Thursday this week to allow an independent assessor to re-run the buses’ road fitness test and re-assess the drivers’ fitness and skills. They are expected to resume operations on Friday.
Reads the statement in part: “Following the accident that happened on 19th January, management of Malawi Post Corporation has decided to take Post Buses off the road from 20th to 23rd of January. This has been done to enable the corporation to re-take steps and actions to ensure the safety of passengers.
“Be it noted that this is being redone despite having it conducted prior to the service introduction in view of the importance of passenger’s safety which the corporation upholds highly.”
According to Balaka Police Station spokesperson Felix Misomali, the bus, registration BW 7915, which was being driven by Osen Oscar, 39, of Msundwe Village, Traditional Authority Kalolo in Lilongwe, overturned after the driver lost control.
He said 15 passengers, who sustained minor injuries, were rushed to Phalula Health Centre where they were treated as outpatients.
Consumers Association of Malawi executive director John Kapito in an interview said passenger service business requires people who have the capacity and skills to operate public transport business.
He said: “This is an area that is alien to them [MPC]. They are used to carrying letters and parcels. They need to create a different company altogether led by people who understand transport business.” In November last year, barely a month after the launch of Post Bus Service, one passenger died while three others sustained serious injuries after another bus belonging to the corporation got involved in an accident at Kawinama Village near Nkhamenya Trading Centre along Kasungu-Mzimba Road.