A joint venture passenger vessel, MV Chambo, is yet to return on the waters of Lake Malawi, two years after suspending services due to the Covid-19.
The vessel, operating under OSLPS joint venture involving Mozambique Tanzania and Malawi investors was launched in 2019 to serve Nkhatabay, Likoma and Mozambique passengers.
The vessel was taken off the lake during the 2020 Covid -19 outbreak whose movement restrictions affected travel business.
One of the directors of the joint venture Clement Stambuli confirmed to Capital FM that the vessel is not likely to return any time soon, as it needs extensive repair.
“The vessel has been out of service is not operating even in the Mozambique side of the lake because the business was being greatly affected with pandemic regulations.
“Passengers were required to present a negative Covid-19 certification status whose process was too expensive for lake service users and this proved difficult for water transport operations,” Stambuli said.
According to Stambuli, the licence has since expired while the ship is out of service -a situation which means another agreement needs to be reached with Malawi government for the venture to fully resume.
Authorities from both Malawi and Mozambique had expressed hope that MV Chambo would boost trade between the two countries as well as easing challenges that people of Likoma and Chizumulu Islands were facing.