Travellers will enjoy outstanding modern services when a new ship, the MV Chambo, will be commissioned tomorrow to ply the route between Nkhata Bay, Likoma, Metangula, in Mozambique and Mbamba Bay, in Tanzania.
The Nation learnt on Monday that OLSPS Mozambique-Malawi Limited will introduce the ship service in a joint venture between Mozambican and Malawian directors.
In an exclusive interview, businessperson-cum-politician Clement Stambuli revealed that he and lawyer Chimwemwe Sikwese are the Malawian directors in the business venture while Oscar Boca and Jovito Nunes are their Mozambican co-directors.
He expressed joy that the introduction of MV Chambo will transform and ease Lake Malawi transportation and will bring to fruition long-standing regional southern African development plans in the Mtwara Corridor, including linking Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia.
“OLSPS Mozambique-Malawi Limited is a business venture that seeks to promote trade and tourism in the Southern Africa Development Community [Sadc] area.
“This is a modern ship and the business will complement regional plans which have involved the improvement of road networks between Malawi, Tanzania, Mozambique and Zambia recently,” Stambuli stated.
He said that MV Chambo will give customers the dignity of walking into the vessel straight from the shore, without getting wet.
Currently, people boarding other vessels risk getting wet, as they need to do so by using either canoes or boats.
The new boat will carry up to 120 passengers and 10 tonnes of cargo at a time, which can include two vehicles. It can achieve up to 50 nautical miles per hour, covering the Nkhata Bay-Likoma lap in a record time.
“Our company plans to introduce a modern ferry on Lake Malawi in future to complement the MV Chambo services. We anticipate great support from the public, particularly because our fares for both ordinary and executive services are very competitive,” Stambuli stated.
Asked whether the long-standing Lake Malawi border wrangle with Tanzania may be a hitch to the growth of the lake service, Stambuli downplayed the issue. “All the countries concerned have given the project the go-ahead and appreciate that the MV Chambo will give the various nationalities and businesspersons the cheapest access to the open sea
,” he enthused.
In an interview on Monday, spokesperson for the Ministry of Transport and Public Works James Chakwera confirmed that the vessel will be commissioned on Wednesday in Nkhata Bay. “This is a welcome development that should give passengers more comfort and the chance to travel to their destinations frequently, as the new vessel is a faster-moving one. The new company will now give the Malawi Lake Service competition, which is always beneficial to customers,” he stated.