The Zanzibar government has sold off a passenger-cum-cargo ship that has been undergoing repairs in Kenya to an undisclosed buyer at $230,000, after running up repair costs of over $1.5 million.
The archipelago’s Transport ministry said that the government had “decided not to continue with the repairs but to dispose of” MV Maendeleo, whose repairs were being done at a dry dock yard in Mombasa. The cumulative expenses had reached $1,554,551, according to the ministry.
The ship’s value had deteriorated from $500,000, according to government-hired evaluators, to $370,000.
In its heyday, MV Maendeleo used to ply the Dar es Salaam-Zanzibar-Pemba route. It had the capacity to carry 600 passengers and 697 tonnes of cargo at a go.
Last May, the Zanzibar Shipping Corporation announced the sale of three vessels — MV Maendeleo, MV Ukombozi and MV Mapinduzi II — on an ‘as is, where is’ basis. The fate of the other two vessels is unknown.
State-owned shipping companies in the region have been struggling to sustain their fleets and face off competition from private operators.