BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)-Nine chiefs along side their subjects have openly told President Lazarus Chakwera’s Tonse government to swiftly start rehabilitating Mark-Bangula railway section for economic boom activities.
The two districts’ residents told the news conference on Saturday, March 19, 2022 at Nsanje boma that project’s delays is denying them good and cheap access to goods and services transportation when trading.
They hinted that are tired of any dilly-daring of the projects that economic activities came to stand still for years.
The demands comes after Ministry of Transport and Public works transparently awarded China Railway 20 (CR20) contract to design, upgrade and rehabilitate the railway section between Marka and Bangula project.
This comes after Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) stopped Mota-Engil from the project for contractual fraud coupled with overpricing.
ACB therefore ordered re-adverting the project for new bidders excluding Mota-Engil which was awarded at the tune of MK48.2 billion.
Awarding contract to CR20 has not gone well with Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) without tangible reasons.
But chiefs and residents in two districts are itching for the kick start of the project.
“No one should dare to come here stopping the project. We are tired and sick on any delays in rehabilitating the railways which used to be our economic hub connections. This project is for all Malawians not only people of Nsanje and Chikwawa,” Traditional Authority (T.A) N’gabu.
TA Makoko chipped in, “After learning that government has finally awarded the contract CR20 for the project, we were excited that work be done now not later. We are satisfied with the contract to do the work”.
Centre for Mindset Change (CMC) which has been engaging, following and championing the project for the past year through various means echoes with chiefs and resident for the quick start of the project’s rehabilitation.
CMC Executive Director Phillip Kamangira denounces any political agenda towards implementation of the project that communities be enjoying economic activities
“The Centre for Mindset Change (CMC) is deeply saddened with some ill minded Malawians who are busy politicizing the Railway Project that will boost the economic gains of the people of Nsanje and Chikwawa. We are aware that other purported corrupt individuals are being sponsored by a Cathedral of Thieves to disturb the root of development for the people of Lower Shire.
“Having messed up things in this country through gaining of dubious contracts that were previously awarded to them, they have become facilitators and sponsors of bad campaign and sabotage too against all sets of development put across by the current administration,” says Kamangirah.
He added, “We would like to point out to the fact that, every Malawian deserves good life regardless of their ethnicity background, political affiliation, religion or race. This contradicts section 19 of the Republican Constitution that talks about Equality.Against this background, CMC wishes to inform the people of Nsanje and Chikwawa that as far as matters of development are concerned for this very beautiful part of Malawi, we shall stand firm in making sure that whatever development has been provided for by the Government of Malawi is fully executed without political interference from either agents of opposition parties, individual interests, members of the ruling party or any other reason.
“This is why today, we call upon government through the Ministry of Transport and Public Works to quickly start the rehabilitation of the Marka Bangula Railway section project. This project will go very far in reducing unemployment rate of the youth in Nsanje and Chikwawa among others. Let us all join hands in making sure that this project starts as soon as possible for the benefit of the people of Nsanje, Chikwawa and indeed everyone as a citizen of this country”.
Kamangirah however disclosed that his organisation will write ministry of transport to fast track project rehabilitation in line with communities demands.
Marka Bangula Railway section connects Beira in Mozambique where good and services are expected to transported cheaply.