Malawi News Agency (Lilongwe)

7 March 2014

Malawi: Communities Demand Explanation From Abida Mia Over Stalled Secondary Construction Works

Nsanje — There is uncertainty over the continuation of a Secondary school project Abida Mia, wife to former Minister of Transport and Public works Sidik Mia initiated in Nsanje South constituency a few months ago, which has halted for two months now according to Acting Chief Chimombo.

Communities in the area including members of Area Development Committee (ADC) fear the project may not continue as Mia who wanted to contest as a Member of Parliament for the area on People's Party (PP) ticket rescinded her decision. Chimombo communities whose children walk a distance of about 15 kilometers to Ntowe or Nyachilenda Community Day Secondary Schools owing to the absence of a Secondary school within their area, said such a challenge is giving them headache.

"The distance to secondary schools is contributing to high number of school drop outs especially among girls who eventually get married at a tender age," ADC members said.

The Chimombo ADC feared their dream to have a Secondary School may not come by soon, as the one Abida Mia wife to former Minister of Transport and Public Works Sidik Mia initiated, has stalled for two months.

"With the stall of the new secondary school construction works in our area, we fear that the situation of drop outs will not reverse the trend as we were expecting.

"We are also worried that Mia's decision not to contest as Member of Parliament for the area in the forth coming tripartite polls may see the project dying a natural death," said Acting Chief Chimombo.

Meanwhile the members are demanding an explanation from the wife to former Transport Minister on whether the project will continue or not, so that they should map the way forward.

"We just want an explanation from her whether the project will continue or not so that we can find other means to complete it," asked the ADC members.

However, Abida Mia however assured the communities that despite her withdrawal from the race the project will continue after the rains, saying she requires K1.6 million to finish works on the block she was working on.

"Let me assure the communities that the project will be finished in four months time," she assured the communities.

The wife to former Transport Minister said she will continue to support people in the Shire Valley despite quitting politics as she declined to disclose reasons behind her stance.

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