K5 billion tollgates revenue stays idle

No construction works on the ground

KAMBWANDIRA—Be open on money use

By Isaac Salima:

Tollgates which have been established in the past two years have generated K5.1 billion, but road users have faulted the Roads Fund Administration (RFA) and Roads Authority (RA) for not putting the funds to use.

They further fault those responsible for handling the money for lacking transparency on how revenue is being used.


This follows RFA’s announcement that, so far, K5.1 billion has been collected from the country’s two tollgates, namely Chingeni Toll Plaza in Ntcheu District and Kalinyeke Toll Gate in Dedza District.

In October 2021, the country commissioned Chingeni Toll Gate before constructing another one at Kalinyeke in Dedza to help in sustainable generation of funds for road maintenance on the tolled road.

The country projected to be raising about K4 billion from the tollgates annually.


According to Masauko Ngwaluko, who is spokesperson for RFA, which manages the tollgates, they are happy with the generated amount.

“We are looking for more money.

“However, we could raise more money if we had used the toll structure that was put in the first place. What we have collected is what we have and we are happy with it,” Ngwaluko said.

Asked about how they are using the revenue generated, Ngwaluko said they use the money to fund RA, who are the implementers.

“Our colleagues at Roads Authority have been processing procurements of contractors and consultants because their responsibility is to do maintenance while we raise the funds and pay for the cost of the works,” he said.

RA spokesperson Portia Kajanga asked for ample time before she could comment on the issue.

But other sources have told us that the authority is yet to start works.

Meanwhile, road users have bemoaned lack of information on how the country is benefitting from toll gate revenue.

“We have not heard anything about their plans, in terms of how they intend to improve our road network using the generated revenue. If they say that the intention of the toll gates is to improve conditions of our roads, which roads are they talking about?

“If conditions of our roads are anything to go by, I do not think we are benefitting from these toll gates. However, if they plan to start maintenance works after raising a considerable amount of money, let us wait then,” Bisani Banda, who is president of Road Transport Operators Association, said.

Banda urged authorities to open up on the issue of projects that are in the offing.

Minibus Owners Association of Malawi General Secretary Coxley Kamange said lack of information on tollgate proceeds use is doing more harm than good to the country.

“Malawians need to be told about how their money is being used. Our members have been paying the fees and have a right to know about when they will have good roads,” Kamange said.

Accountability expert Willy Kambwandira said accountability is lacking on the use of tollgate proceeds.

“While the government continues to be jumpy on increased revenue generated from the tollgates, our roads remain in a very poor state. Government is failing to demonstrate how resources generated from the tollgates are being used.

“If anything, what Malawians have heard is that funds were stolen right on the point of collection. There is, therefore, a need for institutions involved in using revenue generated from the tollgates to be open on money use,” Kambwandira said.

RFA recently announced plans to construct four tollgates in the Central Region.

The tollgates are expected to be installed in Dowa, Mchinji, Salima and Kasungu.

Last year, auditors busted fraudulent activities involving cashiers at Chingeni Toll Plaza. Out of the 16 cashiers, six were implicated and eventually suspended from duty.

About K10 million was suspected to have been misappropriated.

Recently, RA announced that 35 roads had been affected by Cyclone Freddy.

Minister of Finance Sosten Gwengwe said they would like to introduce a Freddy Levy to speed up the process of road and bridge construction in districts that have been affected by the disaster.

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