Nkhotakota District Council has expressed concern over motorists in the district who frequently shun the newly constructed bus depot and ply their businesses outside the depot.
This has come after the motorists demanded the council to refurbish the entry and exit points of the depot which were in bad shape.
However, the motorists still shun the depot despite the council having attended to the problem. Nkhotakota District Market Supervisor, Emmanuel Kapeka said motorists continue to shun the depot for their own petty reasons, saying the council has reconstructed the exit and entry points where the vehicles had problems when entering the depot.
“It is very worrisome; motorists do not want to come back to the bus depot, although the council attended to their complaint to refurbish the entry and exit points,” he said.
Kapeka said the tendency of motorists deserting the bus depot foils the local council’s revenue collection by end of the day. “We only have a few ticket sellers, so it becomes difficult to follow these motorists in undesignated places for tickets.
Therefore, many motorists end up not paying taxes for the council,” he said.
Motorists in the district have been shunning the bus depot which was not operational for several months since its establishment in 2017.
According to one of the drivers who is also the chairperson for Sienta drivers, Apatsa Stambuli, the drivers are ready to get back to the bus depot but did not specify when.
He, however, said the motorists face many challenges when using the depot. “I think we don’t have strong structures to enforce all drivers to be using the depot.
Other motorists really want to use the depot, but upon seeing their fellow drivers doing business outside the depot, they also desert the depot,” he said.
Stambuli further said more passengers are not used to going into the depot to board buses. Instead, they wait in undesignated places to board a bus. This, he said delays minibuses inside the bus depot to get full with passengers on board.
Nkhotakota District Council is yet to meet the motorists to get them back into the bus depot, according to the Market Supervisor. Nkhotakota bus depot has passengers’ shelter, police office, grocery shops, restaurant rooms and paying toilets.