President Peter Mutharika on Tuesday inaugurated the new MK22 billion Mzuzu-Nkhata Bay road which the government has since christened Arthur Peter Mutharika (APM) Highway.
Speaking at Masamba Community ground at Mpamba Trading Centre in Traditional Authority (TA) Timbiri in the district, Mutharika hailed the contractor Strabag International for constructing this road he described as “magnificent”.
Mutharika claimed he did not know that the government wanted to name the road after him.
“I am very humbled that you decided to name the road after me, thank you very much, I never expected it. In fact, I wanted to name it after some body else,” he said.
“I will reserve mine for another new road,” Mutharika said.
The 46-km Mzuzu-Nkhata Bay Road starts from Mzuzu City at the court house roundabout and ends at Nkhata Bay Jetty on Lake Malawi.
It is part of the M05 road that runs from Mzuzu through Nkhata Bay, Dwangwa, Nkhotakota, Salima and ends at junction with M01 road at Balaka Market.
Construction works started from July 1, 2016 to June 23, 2018 to the tune of over K16, 7 billion. The financial resources were made up of a loan from the African Development Bank (AfDB) and financial contributions from the Malawi Government.
AfDB country representative Frank Mvula said the institution attaches great importance to road infrastructure development as it is the driver for economic growth.
Mvula then asked government to ensure that the road is maintained from time to time for durability.
After cutting a ribbon and unveiling a plaque at Mpamba Trading Centre to mark the official opening of the road, the President proceeded to Nkhata Bay Boma to inspect the newly constructed jetty.
The road is part of Mtwara Development Corridor, which links Malawi and Zambia to Mtwara Port in Tanzania on the Indian Ocean through Mbamba Bay and Nkhata Bay on the shores of Lake Malawi.
Meanwhile, the contractor Strabag International has embarked on construction of dual carriage way from the Mzuzu Court House roundabout to Katoto