Malawi government is expected to name ‘Bingu High-Way’ the 102 kilometers Karonga-Chitipa road on 27 May next week despite being rejected in 2012 by the community, Maravi Post has learnt.
The road which was constructed by the China Road and Bridge Corporation as a four year project from 2008 to 2012, was financed by the People’s of Republic of China with a grant of $70 (about K10 billion then) and was officially opened by former President Joyce Banda in January, 2013.
According to the letter signed by the Secretary of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development Stuart Ligomeka dated 28 April, 2016 and addressing to both council officials, the development follows the chiefs’ request.
“The ministry want to inform you that government will name Karonga-Chitipa road as ‘Bingu High-Way’ as requested by traditional leaders of both districts and we would therefore request you to convey the message,” stated the letter.
However, the development has provoked anger of the people in Karonga who have disclosed to stage a protest during the day.
One of the concerned citizens Steven Simsokwe who is also the Executive Director of Karonga Youths for Justice and Development said “they will not allow this to happen.”
“How can the Chiefs betray us by asking the President to rename this road a name that we and together with some Chiefs rejected at first?” wondered Simsokwe.
He said “there are a number of our heroes here in the district as well as northern region as whole who also deserve that, so why did these Chiefs fail to request the President to name the road using these names apart from Bingu High-Way?”
Simsokwe mentioned the names of Dudunzu Chisiza and Chakufwa Chihana among others while arguing that “the name Bingu is not good for the northerners as it remind them of the 20 July, 2011 demonstrations that killed almost 20 people apart from the quarter system of selecting students to go to public universities and nepotism.”
However, Traditional Authority Kilipula who is the secretary for the chiefs in both districts failed to pick up his phone when contacted for a comment.
President Peter Muthalika is expected to inspect some developmental projects in the district as well as the disaster victims apart from naming the Karonga-Chitipa road.
During former President Bakili Muluzi’s tenure, the people of Karonga openly and angrly protested his mediocre leadership by dressing pigs in UDF’s yellow regalia at Karonga roundabout.