The newly-launched Marine Vessel (MV) Chambo on Lake Malawi is expected to boost trade between Malawi and Mozambique apart from reducing mobility challenges for people on Likoma and Chizumulu islands, officials from the two countries have said.
Speaking last week during the commissioning of the vessel at Nkhata Bay Jetty in Nkhata Bay, Mozambique High Commissioner Jose Maria Zita said MV Chambo will ease travel and promote business and access to social facilities.
“The people of Likoma and Chizumulu islands were facing problems in accessing the mainland. This will help them in their businesses and communication.
“I urge other stakeholders to invest in water transport to curb monopoly in the water transport sector,” she said.
Ministry of Transport and Public Works director of marine services John Mhango said apart from improving transport services on the lake, the MV Chambo will promote trade between the two countries.
Operated by OSLPS Mozambique-Malawi Limited, MV Chambo is sailing twice a week between Likoma and Nkhata Bay.
With the MV Chambo, customers will enjoy outstanding modern services between Nkhata Bay, Likoma, Metangula in Mozambique and Mbamba Bay in Tanzania.
OLSPS Mozambique-Malawi Limited is a joint venture between Mozambican and Malawian directors.
In an earlier interview with The Nation, businessperson cum politician Clement Stambuli said he and lawyer Chimwemwe Sikwese are 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 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] region,” he said.
The new ship 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.