Tuesday, June 12, 2007


It is no longer a rumour that the operation of the Shire Bus lines are not only on the dead end, but also a big blow to the country’s craving to improve its tourism industry. Frankly speaking transport is an important catalyst if development is to be enhanced. But for this to be achieved having a good public service provider, is a must. In this case, Shire bus line can be alluded to as an example that can help not only the very poor but development of the nation as a whole. But it is a pity that instead of having a bus line that is vibrant, boarding which tourists can have a good feel of how friendly Malawians are the reality is that it is staggering to achieve its role.

Government upon realizing that the once Stage Coach turned Shire bus lines is facing lots of tribulations thought aloud that the company should be dissolved. Government looks at Shire bus lines as not bringing government the much needed revenue. It believes the idea will not only be good, but will as well bring efficiency in the operations of the company. From this one can deduce that the government deems a new blood will revamp the company so much that the company’s networks will spread even beyond those areas that the company reached in the 1990s.

On the same, reports are making rounds that in the current state, each bus has 20 workers. Though not sure how they work, one thing is clear, it is said that the number of workers is too much as such they want the number to be reduced. In so doing the result will be effective operation of the mother bus line. But the question that is rather a conundrum instantly sprouts is, “are the workers responsible for the inefficiency of the company?” By workers in this case are those of lower ranks, though the demarcation is a problem. Were they just employing people without considering the number of workers?

In short, by looking at the whole debate, it can easily be deduced that some individuals on top, not the ones that are to face the fury of retrenchment are largely responsible for the whole mess that government thinks can be buried by dissolving the company.

Without mincing words, before 2000 a number of buses operating and reaching far areas were numerous, but now it is sad, so to say, that many areas now do not see these buses, not that the roads are pathetic, but for the reasons only the management can fully explain.

However a number of buses are grounded, which to some degree can be attributed to
negligence by those responsible. This lucidly translates that the number of buses
operating was decreasing culminating in more workers on each bus. As such to start
retrenching those below, though it sounds unadulterated, is outlandish in all senses of
human intellectual capacity.

Though some people were demanding to have a commission of inquiry, if history is
anything to go by, that will not provide the solution, nor will it move even an inch
towards addressing the problem. In Malawi many inquiries have been conducted but only
a handful of them had their findings revealed to the public.

Further, for one to argue that the minibuses offer an alternative to the now, almost half-white elephant entity in the guise of Shire bus lines can as well not provide a panacea to the enigma at hand. The minibus’ number has alarmingly shot because of Shire bus lines’ inability to provide services to many corners of Malawi . Of course it is undeniable fact that since the new millennium the company has involved itself in a handful of accidents, but that does not suffice for the company to be substituted with these minibuses, a majority of which is not road worthy in the truest norms of the road use. The minibuses cannot, therefore, be trusted in any way; in fact they are to some level a scary to the tourism hence becoming an impediment towards attaining development.

Looking at the Shire bus lines issue, dissolving the company will not be finding the
solution to the puzzle at hand, rather it will just be a suppression of the problem which
will resurface in the years to come. The mere changing of the names from Stage Coach to
Shire bus line, now on the verge of masking a new name, exhibits volumes pertaining to
the problems that bus companies face in the country. The reasons will remain the same,
though names can be changed now and again.

The restructuring of the whole management of the Shire bus lines is a must, not that it
Will be a final solution, at least will give the first step towards finding the answer. As of
Now the workers’ side of the story has not been heard, whilst at the same time being
convinced beyond doubt by those in the management that the majority of those below
should go. As Paulo Freire, a scholar from Brazil who was on the forefront in Liberatory
Education where dialogue is seen as a catalyst towards reaching a consensus to reach a
Compromise to a problem said, it is only through dialogue that a clear solution where all
parties involved in the affair should be involved can be found.

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