Minister of local government Dr Blessings Chinsinga on Thursday officially handed over the operations of the country’s bus depots to local councils at a colourful ceremony which took place at the Lilongwe old town main bus depot.
The bus depots were, during the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) dubiously transferred to Felton Mulli, the party’s main financier and chairman of the Mlakho wa Lhomwe.
Chinsinga commended Deputy Minister of Local Government Halima Daud for the tireless effort made to be possible to take the depots back to ordinary Malawians.
Chinsinga also commended Malawi’s Attorney General Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda for his great prowess in courts to have the depots back.
“On behalf of the Malawi Government, with my Deputy, Honourable Halima Daud, we have symbolically handed over the Lilongwe Bus Depot, to the Lilongwe City Council, as the rightful managers of the facility.
“We also undertook a clean up exercise, along the bus depot area. This handing over of the depot, follows the recent ruling by the High Court of Malawi Lilongwe Registry, that Councils of Lilongwe, Blantyre, Kasungu and Mzimba, should take charge in managing the affairs of their bus terminals, away from being managed by one private firm,” he said.
Chinsinga said the ceremony therefore, represents the handing over of all the mentioned Bus Depots, to respective Councils.
He said this is victory for Malawians, knowing that the revenue from the facilities, will benefit them, development wise.
Chinsinga has since ordered Lilongwe City Council to come up with tangible plans within six.
He said: “I have therefore, given the Lilongwe City Council, six months, to come up with modern bus terminal plans and willing investment partners, for the commencement of the construction, of an international standard infrastructure.”
Mulli was one of the businessmen who dubiously benefitted from the corruption and plunder that took place during the DPP era led by Peter Arthur Mutharika.
Malawi government earlier this year also nullified a 167 years loan repayment schedule deal with Mulli. Former Finance minister Felix Mlusu told parliament that government has nullified the K10.5 billion loan re-payment schedule deal with Mulli Brothers after observing that the deal was signed dubiously.
Mulli Brothers was one of the companies that took “toxic loans from Malawi Savings Bank before it was sold to FDH Bank in 2015.
According to Mlusu, in the cancelled agreement Mulli Brothers was repaying K5 million per month which meant it could have taken 167 years to complete repaying the loan.