President Lazarus Chakwera says as a Capital City, Lilongwe deserves better attention thus his administration’s commitment to upgrading Mzimba Street and Kenyatta Drive — connects Lilongwe Old town and the City Centre — into triple carriage way.
At the ground breaking ceremony on Tuesday, Chakwera also disclosed that in few months time, the government will launch the rehabilitation works of the Lilongwe-Blantyre M1 Road with funding from development partners.
He said the upgrading of roads and implementation of many other projects will create more jobs for citizens, that will in turn empower them economically.
The ground breaking was done at Bingu International Convention Center (BICC) near Parliament roundabout — the junction for Kenyatta that passes through Bisnowaty past Tsoka market near Constantini to Shoprite in Area 3.
The President warned that justice will take its course for those involved in corrupt practices that derail development projects.
Deputy Minister of Transport, Nancy Mdooko said government is very committed to upgrade dozens of roads to improve road network in the country.
She said the upgrade works will include construction of an additional bridge along Lingadzi River and partial Clover Leaf Interchange to replace the roundabout at Kamuzu Central Hospital Petroda filling station, among many roads earmarked for construction and upgrading.
Commencing on Wednesday, September 1, the 3.9km road construction will take 18 months and to be ready for use by February 23, 2023 to be installed with street lights — all costing
Mzimba road will be upgraded from Crossroads roundabout to Central Medical Stores. Other roads earmarked for upgrade that are included in the 2021/2022 budget are expansion to dual carriage way of the M1 Road from Kamuzu International Airport junction to Mzimba Turn-off.
In his remarks, Roads Authority Board chairperson, Joe Ching’ani said the road will be constructed with high standards that will be durable.
“The Board is very ready to offer good works on roads and bridges, not substandard services,” he said. “Apart from having massive facelift, once completed, it will reduce travel time which used to take nearly one hour, it will now be only 10 minutes.
“It will also enhance road safety between pedestrians and motorists and reducing operating costs in terms of wear and tear and usage of fuel.”
Ching’ani added that the challenge suffocating fast and timely completion of services was late funding of projects.Your Excellency, the big problem we have is the new IFIMIS at Capitol Hill, which sits on money without being released for long — slowing development and retarding your image in process.
“Vetting is another big challenge that we must mention that Roads Authority is very uncomfortable with. I know by saying this, I will step on someone’s foot,” Ching’ani said.
He then assured the gathering that the Roads Authority will not accommodate shoddy work in any project.
The road upgrading, is in line with the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS III), 2018; Transport Master Plan 2018 and the MW2063, 2021) — which are recent policy documents that articulate issues related to both economic growth and development in the transport sector.
With funding from Malawi Government, through the Ministry of Transport, the road is being constructed by the China Civil Engineering Construction Company, with Roads Authority as implementing agency, under the supervision of David Consulting Engineers.