Opposition fumes over unfinished projects
Leaders of nine opposition parties have expressed their unhappiness with the increasing number of unfinished infrastructure projects in the country.
They said, in recent years, Malawi has made a lot of investments in social and infrastructure amounting to billions of kwacha, with particular focus on the transport sector, especially road construction, but it is all on paper.
The leaders, who included Leader of Opposition in Parliament Lazarus Chakwera, said the money which has been spent on unfinished projects would have transformed the lives of millions of Malawians.
Other political leaders that were present are Uladi Mussa, Enock Chihana, Mark Katsonga, George Nnesa, Sam Mpasu, Loveness Gondwe, Edwin Banda and Newton Kambala.
In a statement titled ‘The National Scandal of Unfinished Infrastructural Projects’ which they presented during a press briefing in Lilongwe yesterday, the leaders outlined 20 infrastructural projects that remain unfinished, some of them dating back 15 years ago.
They mentioned Churchill Road, between Illovo and Midima Roundabout in Limbe, a mere 650 metres dual carriageway that has stalled after the contract price escalated to around twice the original price due to implementation delays and change of designs.
“The strange thing is that President [Peter] Mutharika uses this stretch of road every time he drives home,” they said.
The statement goes on to discuss Chiradzulu Turn-off to Maselema Roundabout Road in Limbe where construction started and K12.4 billion was spent but, up to now, the project cannot be concluded because of compensation issues.
Other projects are Liwonde to Nsanama Road in Machinga, Zomba-Jali-Chitakale Road and Thyolo-Bangula Road.
They also mentioned Mzimba-Kafukule-Ekwendeni Road, Lirangwe-Chingale- Liwonde Road, Lumbadzi- Dowa-Chezi Road, dual carriageway from Capital Hotel Roundabout to Area 18 Roundabout in Lilongwe, Nsanje Port and the Commercial Court Building along Sanjika Road in Blantyre.
Some unfinished projects subjected to discussion were Blantyre Police Station, a project of 15 years ago, Blantyre District Hospital, Mombera University, renovation of Chileka Airport, Construction of new terminal at Chileka Airport and the universities in Chikwawa, Mangochi, Nkhotakota and Karonga, which the Democratic Progressive Party promised.
The opposition party leaders also mentioned numerous unfinished primary school blocks, health centres and clinics in almost every district.
They, however, said Malowa to Thyolo Road in Thyolo and Balaka to Khwisa Road in Balaka are glaring exceptions as they were completed in record time just because they pass through President and First Lady Getrude Mutharika’s homes, respectively.
According to the leaders, there is also a deliberate policy of official deception as construction of roads in townships is done for political purposes.
“The roads are so sub-standard that they are potholed within a month,” they said.
The political leaders said government has even failed to maintain safety standards of the core road network in the country as the M1 stretch from Lilongwe to Kasungu remains a death trap.
“M5 is another minefield with single lane colonial bridges still indispensable to date. All these are signs of a government that has no direction at all in infrastructure development for Malawi,” the parties said.
They have attributed the development to the country being cursed with a succession of political leaders who do not take political leadership as a responsibility.
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