18 March 2019

Malawi: Minister Jappie Dismisses VP Chilima Charges On Njakwa-Livingstonia Road

Minister of Transport and Public Works Jappie Mhango has denies charges by State Vice President and UTM Party leader Saulos Chilima on the progress of much touted 75-kiometer Njakwa-Livingstonia Road project.

Speaking during a televised rally at Bumba Primary School in Rumphi on March 9 as UTM presidential candidate after touring the road, Chilima said he felt sorry for President Peter Mutharika for being told lies about the status of the project.

"I feel sorry for the President, Prof Arthur Peter Mutharika. He is being told lies about the Njakwa Livingstonia road. They are lying to him that the road is tarred. We were there we travelled on that road, there is no tar and how do you lie to the President of the country about this? I feel sorry for the President," said Chilima.

"If it were in the time of the late Dr Kamuzu Banda and the late Bingu Mutharika, we would have new ministers because of this scandal," added Chilima.

But in reaction, minister Mhango took reporters on a tour to the road on Wednesday to witness "progress".

Mhango told reporters that a section of 13.8 kilometres of the 75.8km road has been upgraded to bitumen standard. The minister said earthworks are at various levels.

"If we say earthworks are at various levels it means there is progress. Tarmac is the final product of the works. So, for Chilima to say there is no progress that is not true," said Mhango.

The minister said Mota-Egil as the main contractor, subcontracted other sections to Sawa Group and Zam'mbuyo Construction companies to speed up works with expectation to finish the project next year.

But Chilima said UTM will finish Livingstonia-Njakwa Road and other roads "as we are getting in government this coming May."

President Mutharika launched the four-year project in March 2015.

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