Africa-Press – Malawi. Traditional Chiefs along Lirangwe via Chingale Machinga road namely Lundu, Mlumbe, Nkapita and Nkula plan to meet President Lazarus Chakwera to present their concern over delayed Lirangwe-Chingale-Machinga road which has been neglected for 17 years.
The four chiefs led by Senior Chief Mlumbe disclosed their intention to meet Chakwera in Zomba during a meeting which was organised by Center for Social Concern to discuss the road project which has taken almost 17 years without completion by different parties in power.
Speaking during the interface meeting,, Senior Chief Mlumbe said that chiefs along the road have lost patience with the delay. “We therefore want to meet the president to discuss the road which many administrations have failed to complete,” added Mlumbe.
He noted that the Joyce Banda and Peter Mutharika administrations put foundation stone on the road project but nothing materialised to the expectation of the citizens. Senior Chief Mlumbe further observed that all machinery that was brought to construct the road was withdrawn from the project.
“Two foundation stones were laid by two different leaders just to fool people along the road and we’ve come to realise that politicians turn Lirangwe Chingale Machinga area as campaign zone,” Senior Chief Mlumbe added
He also said people along the road face mobility problems due to the bad road condition citing education, agriculture and trade as some of the sectors affected.
“People have failed to buy fertiliser for the 2022/2023 farming season because trucks failed to reach their destinations to deliver fertiliser,” Senior Chief Mlumbe said, adding that many people also face hunger because they fail to buy maize.
Traditional Authority Nkula of Machinga said chiefs wanted to meet president Chakwera because the current government keep on saying that financial resources for the are there.
“We hear parliament approving budget that allocate such resources but we get surprised that up to now nothing has taken shape,” Traditional Authority Nkula added.
He also observed that the Lirangwe Zomba Machinga has turned into campaign thing at the expense of people’s socio-economic livelihood. Center for Social Concern Programmes Officer, Bernard Mphepo, said the organisation’s role is to mobilise citizens to hold their own government accountable.
He expressed concern over the plight of people along the Lirangwe Chingale Machinga road over the delayed road project. ” People have been taken for granted for a long time and Center for Social Concern has come in to do advocacy on governance issues and provide capacity for social justice,” he added.
Mphepo said often times president Chakwera talk of the Lirangwe Chingale Machinga road and has been sending ministers to tour the road in question. “I should believe this is total politics,” he added. The four chiefs have agreed to meet the state president this month as Parliament is discussing the national budget.