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Chikulamayembe stopped from meeting Mutharika

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State House has stopped the Tumbuka chief, Paramount Chikulamayembe of Rumphi, from meeting President Peter Mutharika over a five-year-old launched — but — stalled Teacher Training College (TTC) project in the district.

In an interview with The Sunday Times at his headquarters this week, Chikulamayembe said he has talked to all relevant ministers about the TTC project and asked them to remind Mutharika about the project but the efforts have yielded nothing. He said Mutharika laid down the foundation stone for the project in 2011 when he was Minister of Education.

“There is nothing we have heard from government on our Rumphi TTC project. Government is quiet on the project because I have never received any communication on the reasons causing the delay. I have talked to [Minister of Finance] Goodall Gondwe and I have told him that I want to meet with the President on the matter. Remember that it is him [Mutharika] who laid the foundation stone in 2011 as Minister of Education. I want to remind him in a polite manner because this is our development,” said Chikulamayembe.

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The ministers the chief has met include Grace Chiumia of Sports and Culture, Kondwani Nankhumwa of Local Government and Rural Development and Francis Kasaila of Transport and Public Works. He said he is doubtful if his message was passed on to the president hence wants to talk directly to him.

Presidential Press Secretary, Gerald Viola, trashed the idea of Chikulamayembe going to State House to meet Mutharika over the TTC project and told him to meet the Minister of Education.

“I don’t think the chief should come to meet the President on the TTC because there are many development projects which government is doing and Cabinet ministers supervise the projects. Why is he rushing to meet the President before meeting [Emmanuel] Fabiano? Yes he can come but it is not a good procedure of doing things. Let him meet Dr Fabiano,” argued Viola.

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Fabiano was reportedly outside the country but spokesperson in his ministry, Rabbeca Phwitiko, said the Rumphi TTC is at its final design stage. She said designs and tender documents have been sent to the donor, Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) for review and approval before tendering process.

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