Communities beamon project delay in Mulanje

By Ted Likombola

People in Mulanje have expressed concern over government’s delay in rehabilitating Muloza – Chiringa road which was heavily damaged by cyclone Freddy in the early months of this year.

A concerned villager, Moses John, told us that the delay is posing health threat to people in the district as patients requiring urgent health care are facing challenges to get to health centres, access to markets and schools among others.

By October 2020, communities along Muloza- Chiringa road in Mulanje and Phalombe districts were expected to have a new tarmac road, but as of today the communities are still in a muddy road.

Before 2019, the Muloza-Chiringa road had a gravel surface.

In 2019 the Government of Malawi began upgrading the road.

According to the reports, the work was contracted in phases of which the first phase was from Muloza Trading Centre to Muloza Bridge which is 20Kms, and the M.A Kharaffi and sons won the contract at the amount of MWK 7billion.

The first phase started in April 2019 and was expected to last 18 months which was around October 2020, but as we are speaking the contractor terminated by Vice President Soulosi Chilima before finishing up his part.

On September 18th this year, Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiative(CDEDI) Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa wrote a letter to the Vice President to ask him to tell the Malawians why Government terminated the contract with M.A Kharaffi who was rehabilitating the road and what happened to the resources marked for the project.

“Soon after the court sanctioned the fresh Presidential elections, Dr. Chilima the Vice President went to Muloza in Mulanje and announced that Government has terminated its contract with M.A Kharaffi and said that a new contractor would take over the project but to date there is no contractor on the site,” said Namiwa through his letter.

Through the letter dated September 20, 2023 signed by Principal Secretary in the office of Vice President, Luckie Kanyamula Sikwese, Chilima commended CDEDI for efforts of ensuring the resumption of construction of the Muloza-Chiringa road which has stalled for about 3 years now.

The letter also added that Chilima will respond through the Ministry of Transport and Public Works to matters such as procurement of a contractor for the road.

Now eyes of the communities are at the Ministry of Transport and Public Works to answer their unanswered questions.