Foul tollgates in the offing in Central Region
Construction of four tollgates in the Central Region is expected to commence soon as Roads Authority has secured a consultant to produce detailed designs and supervise the construction at a contract sum of K578 million.
In a notice of intention date February 11 2023 to award contracts, Roads Authority says it has contracted Ruo Consultants to do the work.
In an interview, Roads Fund Administration spokesperson Masauko Ngwaluko said the four will be constructed in Mchinji, Mponela in Dowa, Salima and Kasungu.
“We will have one along M1 Road after Mponela at a place called Khamanga and 7 Km after Nkhamenya at Gwayi. The other will be along Lilongwe-Mchini Road just after crossing Namitete River at Mkonkha in Mchinji and Nalubva after Mvera towards Salim he said.
The consultancy service duration is three months for the design phase and eight months for the construction supervision phase.
Initially, Road Funds Administration intended to construct three tollgates in the C ntral and Northern regions which would cost the government about K8.9 billion.
At that time, Ngwaluko said they had already procured equipment for the tollgates as they were waiting for the other processes.
“We already have money in the budget which will be used for construction because we already bought the equipment last year. There is a joint team between Roads Authority and Roads Fund Administration on the exact location of the tollgates because what we have are just potential sites. So, once they con firm, we will proceed with those places,” he said.
The first tollgate was opened in Malawi in October 2021 at Chingeni in Balaka and the second one was Kalinyeke in Dedza, which was commissioned in 2022.
Commenting on the development, accountability expert Willy Kambwandira said the government should first of all demonstrate accountability on the two tollgates.
“In all fairness, we have reservations on government plans to construct four additional tollgates across the country. The government has failed to demonstrate transparency, and accountability in terms of how it is managing revenue collected from the two tollgates,” he said.
The tollgates are being constructed as one way of raising funds for the maintenance and rehabilitation of roads in the country.