By Noel Mkwaila
The Public Private Partnership Commission (PPPC) says Kenyan firm Webtribe will start construction of modern minibus parking terminals at Mibawa in Blantyre Central Business District and Limbe in April, 2021.
Acting Executive Director for PPPC Audrey Mwala said this at an inspection tour of the construction sites by the Commission and Webtribe officials.
Mwala said PPPC settled for the Kenyan company to execute the project and manage the facilities through a competitive bidding process.
“In October this year, we signed an agreement with the company to construct and manage the facilities for a period of 10 years in a Build, Operate and Transfer arrangement. We came up with the agreement because minibus parking sites in Blantyre are not in good shape, according to the standards of modern cities,” she said.
Construction of the facilities will take almost 12 months and structures will include offices, shops, bathrooms, waiting bays for passengers and automated entry bars.
The PPP arrangement includes that the developer will be providing security to the facilities in the 10 year lease period.
In his remarks, Executive Director for Webtribe Danson Mucheni said the exercise is in-line with his company’s goals of digitalizing various operations which can be achieved through modern infrastructures.
He says they want to introduce an automated revenue system in transport sector for Blantyre City Council.
“We are planning to roll out implementation of this next year. We are 11 years old in digital payments and we have implemented this in several places including city of Nairobi so we are sure this will work here as well,” he said.
Chairperson for Mibawa Minibus Drivers and Conductors Evans Galasi expressed gratitude towards the initiative saying the digital ticketing system will simplify their operations and also the project will improve sanity at the site.
“We have people who are even afraid of visiting that area to board a minibus due to how the surrounding looks but we are quite sure that this initiative will address the challenge,” said Galasi.
The construction exercise is expected to cost US$2-million and after the 10 years, Webtribe will hand over ownership to Blantyre City Council.