karonga chitipa road
Karonga Chitipa Road to be named Bingu Highway – Pic Courtesy NDAGHA

KARONGA (MaraviPost iReport): Hundreds of anti ‘Bingu high-way’ people in Karonga and Chitipa has on Monday petitioned the President Peter Muthalika to reverse the decision of using his late brother’s name to Karonga-Chitipa road.

The ministry of local government and rural development is in record informing council officials of both districts that the official naming of the road will be on 27 May 2016 as requested by Karonga and Chitipa chiefs.

According to the petition dated 23 May, 2016 and signed by 42 residents of both districts, the decision made by the chiefs to ask government to name the road Bingu high-way was ill informed and miscalculated.

“while we are appreciating what the infrastructure that the late Bingu Wa Muthalika constructed here in our districts, we found it bad to name Karonga-Chitipa road Bingu high-way because there a lot of things affected us during his era such quota system, as well as the deaths of 20 people on July 20 demonstration and we therefore believe that it will be an insult to remind us such name,” stated the petition.

The community also argued that “it is not only Bingu who take part in the decision of constructing the road as it was initiated by Bakili Muluzi and Joyce Banda therefore naming Bingu will be unfair.”

Apart from not consulting stakeholders in their respective areas, the community demands the chiefs to come up with the evidence and process to arrive at the decision of naming Bingu high-way.

In a separate interview, one of the group’s leaders Steven Simsokwe threatened to stage protest if government fails to adhere to their demands.

Meanwhile, the chairperson for Chitipa district council has distanced himself from the chiefs’ request of naming the road Bingu high-way claiming the process used was part of dictatorship.

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