Minibus drivers operating from Lilongwe to Dowa, Salima and Kasungu have put their foot down in protest against an order by the Lilongwe City Council to relocate from behind Lilongwe Bus Depot, until the council finds them a convenient alternative place.
The drivers are refusing to relocate to a place near Banja La Mtsogolo Clinic in Falls Estate, which the council identified for them.
In an interview with Malawi News Agency (Mana) on Thursday, one of the drivers, Simeon Simpephile, said they are not relocating because the new place is not convenient for business.
“The place is too small that it cannot even accommodate 30 minibuses,” Simpephile said.
He said the new place does not even belong to the council. One of the residents around the suggested place, John Kenamu, said the decision by the council to relocate the minibus depot close to homes poses a danger to the residents.
“As residents, we are not supporting that move. Imagine the number of minibuses coming here to do business. Allowing them to come closer to our homes will be putting our children’s lives in danger,” Kenamu said.
Efforts to talk to the council, through its spokesperson Tamara Chafunya proved futile as she did not pick up calls.
The minibus operators have been at loggerheads with the council on the relocation exercise, which is aimed at providing breathing space to newly constructed shops.