For the first time in history, Lilongwe and Mzuzu will have modern bus depots that will accommodate national (local) and international buses.
The Lilongwe project, dubbed Moni International Bus Terminus and Trade Centre, which is expected to have other business facilities, is the brain child of a private investor David Bonongwe, the owner of Bonongwe National Distributors, an import and export company while the Mzuzu one is for Mzuzu City Council.
Both projects are at design stage.
Bonongwe said the Lilongwe project site is proposed to be along the western by-pass road in Area 46 or Area 36, depending on the availability of suitable site.
The minimum size of land required is 8.5 hectares and for a start K1 billion will be injected in construction, according to project officials.
Once allocated land, the project will roll out in three months and be completed in three years. Bonongwe said he has approached FDH Bank for financial backing.
He said once the project comes into operation, it will help boost the Malawi economy, generate foreign exchange, promote convenience of travellers, improve townscape, create jobs and other businesses, and decongest Lilongwe Old Town traffic.
The project is also expected to increase revenue for Lilongwe City Council and government, improve partnership between government and the private sector in service provision, and promote tourism.
“The aim of the project is to provide a one-stop centre for both international and local transporters and travellers. It aims to provide bus and truck terminal services that will also include trade and tourism facilities with the overall goal of achieving public convenience, economic development and prosperity for the city and the country in general.
“In particular, the project has the following objectives; to provide a bus terminal that provides an inter-country linkage with neighbouring countries and be a service centre that provides for the socio-economic needs of local and international transporters and travellers,” said Bonongwe.
Mzuzu City Council acting chief executive officer Victor Masina said the Mzuzu project will be situated in Dunduzu, which is about six kilometres from the current depot. Dunduzu is marked as a commercial area in the city’s urban structure plan.
He said once completed, all local and international buses will operate from the new terminal and minibuses will operate from the old depot.
Masina said the depot is also expected to create business for taxi and minibus operators as there will be new routes.
He said the council has already come up with designs for the depot and it is waiting for approval of the urban structure plan for the project to commence.