Malawi’s Nsanje Port not on SADC agenda again

One of Malawi government’s infamous bequests from the late President Bingu wa Mutharika, the much touted multi million Kwacha Nsanje Inland Port is missing from the SADC agenda.

Nsanje Port

Nsanje Port

This is the fourth consecutive year that the ambitious colour dream of Bingu wa Mutharika is slowly revolving into another white elephant and tangible evidence of blatant abuse of taxpayers’ money.

Nyasa Times has seen and combed a draft comprehensive programme for the 35th Summit of Heads of States and Governments to be held in the Botswana’s Capital, Gaborone but there is no indication that the Nsanje Inland Port is yet to catch the region’s attention.

“We must admit that we have to tackle this issue separately because sometimes if we rush we may spoil things. Malawi cannot bring the issue of the port to SADC without Mozambique agreeing to the feasibility study,” Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Dr. George Chaponda said .

Briefing the media at the Gaborone International Convention Centre, Botswana on Thursday, Chaponda also disclosed that the Nsanje Inland Port is at the heart of President Peter Mutharika implicitly implying that the DPP government will not abandon it.

Mutharika, since assuming power in May 2014, has travelled to revive his brother’s colour dream project by trying to sell it but to no avail.

In February 2015, on the side-lines of the AU summit in Ethiopia, Mutharika also courted Malawi’s eastern neighbour Zambia to support the project.

Ironically, the Nsanje world inland port does not feature anywhere in SADC’s US$500 billion harmonised infrastructure blue print called SADC Regional Infrastructure Development Master Plan (RIDMP).

The RIDMP among other things aims to deal with the region’s deficit in road, rail, ports, power, communication, water infrastructure and meteorology.

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56 thoughts on “Malawi’s Nsanje Port not on SADC agenda again”

  1. Jacob jezi says:

    This may lead nsanje port into nothing than into eing a crocodiles haven

  2. Bratusha says:

    Good point @50. But one grammar thing; remember that the past tense of read is read of course it is pronounced as “red”
    Zimachitika osadanda.

  3. kunena mosapyatila says:

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ki ki ki ki ki ki ki !!!
    This is how the SADC financial/projects committee laughs at this mediocre dream called Nsanje inland port. This project cannot be materialised and never will it in your wildest dreams Peter Mutharika and dear Malawians. SADC has prior knowledge of how rich countries such as USA and Britain have spend their precious dollars/pounds and years/time on short distant projects of Panama canal (81Km) and Suez canal (163km) respectively. Those who watch National Geographic & have red about these projects know the awesome amounts involved.

    The water way covers the distance of 262km from the Indian Ocean to Nsanje, making it the longest & most expensive canal project in history. Think of the cost of the state of the art dredging machines on the market today and the most experienced canal engineers in the world. How much can Malawi or SADC cough to purchase and hire such machines & their services let alone beat the white man on the record of the longest canal project in the world? What resources in terms of minerals or oil does Malawi posses to woo the white man to engage on this white elephant? You have to be taught about the COST-BENEFIT analysis before you engage in such projects. Malawi has nothing to offer for the white man to come & steal hence the money for the project cannot flow.


  4. The Ear and Eyes says:

    I thought Mtwara Corridor was already agreed and put in as a SADC blue print infrastructure development for Malawi, Tanzania, Mozambique and Zambia about five years back. Why cant we engage SADC on that at this time while we are waiting for the green light for Nsanje Inland Port. Is it not the way we should go about with our development, first things first.

    Why should one development be held ransom just because someone wants to have a political score?

  5. Bratusha says:

    Much as it is good to dream in colour, I don’t think , from the very onset, the Nsanje Inland port was, from a feasibility point of view, a perfect idea. Already Malawi has the railway line which can serve the same purpose. What Malawi should have done was to rehabilitate the railway line. The railway transport is even faster than water transport and again carry more cargo.

  6. Blunt Truth says:

    I am responding to Drogba comment no 34. Don’t expect us to every useless projec from DPP. The Nsanje is not and will never be viable because it is a multimodal transport project. DPP has no new vision to transform this coumtry.

  7. KARU UNITED says:

    We are outsiders in SADC (not in the original, front line states). I wonder if we as a country have true friends in the region. Things went wrong in the 70’s especially when Mozambique & Afrika du Sud were waging their liberation wars, followed by the Mozambiquean civil war, we were perceived to be on the opposite side & they have never forgiven us.

  8. Herbert says:

    Hey am afraid!

  9. Legoo says:

    Bingu adatsekulila port koma Barge osatulukila. Makani a Bingu ankachitira pa dziko laweni? zamanyazi. Amayesa Zambezi river ili muchigawo cha atumbuka kuti angowapanga bull doze. paja negotiating skill Zero

  10. Hoitty says:

    Paja munkati port sikutsegulidwa chifukwa cha Joyce Banda inu mukasankhidwa u president mudzatsegula port. Ife kuno ku lower shire tinakhulupirira zimenezi ndipo tinakuvoterani mwa unyinji. Vote yathu inali yosinthana ndi kutsegula port ndi chiyambi cha Nsanje city. Yetsetsani mbali yanu otherwise 2019 tiyesako ena otipatsa port

  11. Malawi wa Lero says:

    Palibe amene akukokera mnzake kumbuyo. Zenizeni apa ndizoti project iyi singatheke mufune musafune. The trueth is that Bingu was arogant, kusamva ndikumene kwakula. Mung’ono wake akutsatira zina zamkulu wake mwachimbulimbuli. U remember Chakufwa Chihana and batterfly issue in relation to Environmenta Impact Assessmenr of Ku Chawe. Amawoneka ngati chitsiru. How many similar issues are there between Nsanje and the Indian Ocean?

  12. MAKO says:


  13. Enock says:

    Tell them man

  14. zladco says:

    Just make a deal with the Vale railway and Mozambique via Nagala port. They bring their coal out and we bring fertilizer etc. in!
    On top we should concentrate more on local rail transport and rehabilitate, extend the national network!

  15. Enock says:

    I wonder why this online paper like write only negative things? can you put please ur political aside and wri te positive things which can benefit the nation?

  16. Gubudu says:

    So Dhiphiphi sold Malawians a dummie, anthu amenewa ndi ahlomhwe bodza ndiye kudya kwao.

  17. Malawi wa Lero says:

    I still beleave that if Bingu came after Kamuzu this country wud have bn by far better than most countries in Southern Africa but on this project he goofed. The feasibility study being talked about is not by itself a solution to the implementation of the project. Even after completion of a comprehensive EiA, which can take a minimum of 5 yrs, the whole of it can be rejected by Mozambique or they can ask for adjustments which can still take a long time to complete. If i may ask, why were some Malawians sailing from Indian Ocean to Nsanje Port arrested during Bingus inauguration of the Port? Why dd Bingu stubonly refuse the World Bank Electricy project btwn Malawi and Mozambique while he fully knew that he wud need Moz support on the Port? Akamati diplomacy apa ndipamene imafunika kwambiri. Bingu zinamukanika. I am one of specialists in EIA in Malawi. I can assure u THIS PROJECT WILL NEVER MATERIALISE in the next 15 to 20 yrs.

  18. Its a national project not (REGional)

  19. drogba says:

    Mbavi and Sunderstar, you noble minded citizens of Malawi, I salute you. Your type of thinking and reasoning is what most of us Malawians are lacking. We don’t love Malawi, we don’t want to own our country, our successes and our endeavors. We think by pulling others down then we are achieving something. Little do we know that our enemies are the most happiest when we do this. To most of us Malawi think that Nsanje port is owned by the Muthalika Family and DPP. If we support that project as a nation, if we take it as own thing (as it truthfully is), it will benefit all of us. Malawi is poor because we don’t have enough resources, yes, but also partly because most Malawians are poor in the head. We dont think positively, but always negatively. If someone thinks always negatively, he can’t succeed in life. He’s afraid to start new things. Pulling each other down syndrome (especially DPP Govt) is mostly fanned by the media (led by Nyasatimes Online Newspaper). We forget that Malawi’s Newspapers are also read by people around the globe, who laugh at us. I write to urge PP supporters and a large percentage of our relatives from the North that let us collectively do this. Let us develop Malawi as a people. If DPP Government fails, we all fail. Remember, politicians come and go but Malawi will remain, whether rich or poor. Let us stop discouraging government projects just because we hate some people in government. Let us all support government to make Nsanje port a reality. WHY?? BECAUSE IT WILL BENEFIT ALL IF US

  20. Sapitwa says:

    Carry on pressing the issue and if much is needed, involve international mediation. Malawi needs Mozambique for this one this time as Mozambique needs Malawi on the Vale rail to push coal to Nacala via Malawi. Nothing is impossible.

  21. kamfana says:


  22. Truck says:

    There is no way how Mozambique Government can accept their Zambezi River to be used by Malalwi because they are also making money using their Trucks to take Goods from their Ports to Malawi.

    1. nophiya says:

      even thru zambezi river we will pay since the ships will be theirs we will be passing in their country not free of charge,mozambique shud think of these also. even u too.

  23. Myao says:


  24. Myao says:


  25. Masozi Nyondo says:

    4. River Zambezi has cataracts or rapids that made it impossible for Kamuzu Banda to carry out this project, even Dr. David Livingstone found alot of problems to navigate through Zambezi because of rapids. Is Malawi going to break rocks inside one of africa’s giant river besides fighting silting for 600kms? 5. Publish the feasibility study then we can see a way through together as a nation. In other countries, DPP was never going to baunce back into government because of this expenditure shoulded on tax payers, but in Malawi, since most pipo do not analise and understand, they vote anyhow as long as someone gives them a K50 and promises them free houses, free cement, free iron sheets and even free shoes. How Can a Malawian as poor as the country is build houses for everyone and buy them shoes? Malawians let us be thinking and sensible beings.

    1. sunderstar says:

      Where are the rapids between Nsanje to Chinde? please dont just write if you dont have facts. The fact is Dr Livingstone sailed all the way from Chinde to MURCHISON falls now Kapichira in Chikwawa not in Nsanje. Zambezi is not in Malawi only that Shire flows into Zambezi in Mozambique and that side of Mocambique is flat as Lower shiree

  26. el- Chapo(small in stature. big in mind ) says:

    This was a conduit of stealing government money. How can one start that project without the blessing of mocambique?

  27. Mika Kumbire says:

    Which SADC documents do you read? The Zambezi-Shire Waterway has always been in the SADC Strategic Plans. SADC Meetings discuss matters at strategic level not specific nitty gritties of projects.

    For once I can side with Professor Peter Mutharika who has implored and pleaded with our journalists to vet their stories before publication.

    The way our journalists write actually reflects badly on the rest of us. We seem to be shallow, uninformed and very unknowledgeable.

    One non-Malawian once asked “What’s the problem with you Malawians that you are always fighting against your country and among yourselves?”

    He further pleaded with Malawians to remove what he/she called “THE POVERTY MENTALITY”. LOOKS LIKE WE INDEED LOVE THE NEGATIVE SIDE OF THINGS i.e. A Malawian can never succeed or get rich!! So we think.

    1. i love sindi simutowe says:

      mika you are iether very stupid or very naiive. do you have any idea how much money went into this venture?

      do you know that my personal tax money was used to construct this slab? were you informed beforehand that our country is going to blow millions on this project?

      do you know that malawians are dying due to lack of basic medicines because of useless, pointless, planless projects like these?

      shut your mouth i beg you. abale anga afa ndikuawona chifukwa chosowa mankhwala. i just pray kuti usadzawone zimene ndinawona ine.

  28. Masozi Nyondo says:

    The project has/had the following drawbacks:- 1, No agreement between Malawi and Mozambique. how cud Mozambique let go a chicken that lays golden eggs. Malawi uses 68% of the port of Beira on which Mozambique depends. Its just recently that Mozambique has diverted into mining to have different sources of income. 2. There is a bridge across Zambezi in its lower part and no ship can pass under it. this bridge joins one half of Mozambique to the other, is Malawi going to destroy it to allow their vessels to pass? 3. If Malawi opens Kamuzu Barridge and Mozambique opens Cabora Bassa to raise water levels that can allow may be passage of a water vessel, the whole lower Shire and lower Zambezi would be in floods respectively. Any rise of water in lower Zambezi means floods, the land is too flat. Is Malawi going to relocate and compasate pipo in Mozambique?

    1. sunderstar says:

      Masozi Iam now convinced that you dont know what you are writing, you wrote that there are Rapids on the side of Zambezi in Mocambique and then you contradict yourself and say the lower Zambezi is flat prone to flooding, you then go on lying that the bridge the has recently been Build in Mocambique has no space to let Ships pass, my sister if you have a reliable computer go to GOOGLE EARTH and see how the bridge is like. Please be careful next time you respond to articles like this and you should have facts and knowledge of what you are writing

  29. Masozi Nyondo says:

    I am not against the project but I am just being realistic. Malawians whole heartedly supported the project thinking that the ship that carries vehicles from overseas will come straight to Nsanje hence we cud have a mini Durban in Malawi, that is the biggest mistake of the century. that ship cant even reach Beira the well known port all over the world and Malawians expected it to navigate through a river, kkkkkkk.

  30. Masozi Nyondo says:

    Malawi shud have, 1. Joined Nsanje and Mutarara in Mozambique by rail which is very near then we can have a train carry about 150 containers of goods (45f each)to reach BT within 3 days than a water vessel that can carry 10 containers to reach Nsanje after two weeks. Are we being sensible beings? 2. build a pipeline between Nsanje or Blantyre to Beira (600kms) then build a refinery in Blantyre. 3. Negotiate with Zambia to rent one of their 5 pipelines passing simuteneously a 100kms from Chitipa, if possible, build a pipeline and build a refinery in Chitipa or Chipoka/Blantyre or Lilongwe if Malawi is afraid to empower the north. 4. Negotiate again with Zambia to join TAZARA to the defunct Chilumba Jet about 250kms. I was in Mozambique when Malawi was building the infamous inland port, I gat points that I thought that the project was a non starter. Malawi with all the educated pipo, how cud you goof such big time? check my next episode for the mistakes Malawi made.

  31. i love sindi simutowe says:

    nsanje slab pano inasanduka pokwatilana asena usiku

  32. Bomalathuri rakura ndiboza osamangotibela ndarama zathuzibwanji dyerabasi.

  33. commentator says:

    We should stop bad publicity and celebrating when Nsanje port project is being frustrated. That project is viable. It’s geopolitics that we should manage by not siding with our enemies, both visible and invisible. What we need from sadc is good will. What we need in our side is single-mindedcommitment to the project. IIt’s not Bingu’s project. Dada wane, Mtika, pulika.

  34. Sabil says:

    The port looks more beautiful on the photo than it is on the ground .It got silted during the flooding period.Its a white elephant indeed !!!!
    It’s being used for drying makakana fish now.

  35. mwene says:

    Lets accept that without Mozambique’s support this project is a non starter!!!!! Wasted money, its a White Elephant!!!!! Period!!!!!

  36. Che bikiloni says:

    Educated savages. Why fighting for the losing battle. Mxiew!

  37. GANYAVU says:

    Kkkkkkkkkk msanje port!!!!!!! Zaziiiiiii.

  38. chimwemwe says:

    SADC cannot finance malawi as here economy is in a downward spiral with unstable currencies no investors can come here

  39. vwapuwvapu says:

    Zizatheka, do not doubt, something pushed the originator to think about this project. Support is needed. Hahahaha kkkkkkk.

  40. Kavuluvulu says:

    Northern corridor died because of Bakili’s greed.He wanted his trucks and tankers to be ferrying goods. Same story with Chipiku stores.

  41. Gladson says:

    For whatever reason, it seems like we, the populace, are not given the full picture of most developmental initiatives in this land. If the rumours we hear are a true reflection of the reality, then we might still have a long way to have this project completed. Issues of proper diplomatic consultations with our neighbour, Mozambique; issues of environmental impact assessment; issues of legal instruments in our neighbour’s legal frameworks as regards any developments tampering with banks of rivers; issues of economic priviledges; issues of maintenance; and the list is endless. Did we, as a nation, involve countries that might have a voice in this project before we commenced it? I am sure this project, important as it might be, has been a great learning point for those in leadership and decision making positions in this land. In all fairness, considering how much tax payers money was used to bring this project to where it now stands, every well meaning Malawian will hope and pray that issues that are hampering its progress will be solved soon.

  42. Jelbin mk says:

    How would someone construct a cattle kraal in front of another person’s farm without consulting with the owner of the farm? It means your cattle will not have a way through to the bush to be fed. That is exactly what brainless Bingu did he started the project without consulting with Mozambique whose country and land would be used to go through in order for us to be in touch with the world. It is not possible for one tree to bear mangoes and oranges thus Bingu and Peter they both think the same way Peter couldn’t advise his brother that it was not possible to construct such a project without the consent of Mozambique. These people should be held responsible for the loses the country suffered due to their gross negligence. I think thus why Peter didn’t go to the summit because he feels ashamed. In any project or business there are some legal implications thus why firms do hire lawyers to iron out some difficulties a company might meet in the corse it has taken but this professor of law could not offer his free advice to the then president not to continue with the project citing some legal implications that would follow. I think Danwood Chirwa was right that Malawians were fooled to believe that Peter was a professorial material.

  43. Fools from Malawi, if ESCOM is saying of load shedding just because there is no enough water to power the generators, so where will the water come from to float the cargo ships in there. Alhomwe people you always want to be intellectual when infact you are fools. You went ahead constructing that thing without seeking the help of your neigbhours the Mozambicans now today you want them to consent you for the feasibility study. Which on was supposed to be the first of all in the begining can you answer me. You were doing it to win poeples votes of which the majority are iliterate and fools just like yourselves. Tax money wasted there already believe me that thing will never function mudzakangwiritsira ntchito ku ndata kwanuko akapoli inu mixiiiiiii.

  44. GN Phiri says:

    I believe it would be much more sensible and of immediate benefit and impact on the citizenry if we concentrate on the rail line than the fake port. if the railway line can be maintained all the way into Mozambique you would be surprised at the economic prospects for and within the country in a very short time.

  45. vin mongu says:

    it should not take us by surprise that it has been a stupid idea in the first place. why not push in sensible ideas like oil pipeline and refineries since fuel is the deal in Malawi. Who hatches these stupid priorities in Govt, kodi don’t we do economic models in our Govt to help determine the best options which should give us optimal results. Failed state and war-zone development projects! nothing to show in our 1,2,3…… 51 years of independence except for peace.

  46. Mvula J. Mvula says:

    The Nsanje World Inland Port as the name suggests opens Malawi to the world. History reminds us that Nsanje was Port Herald. There are few leaders who think global. Most of the leaders think local. Bingu’s dream which would open the Nation to the world lacks real dynamism from the present “local minded” leadership and we are at the brink of indeed making it a laughable monument. It is so sad to see it fading in my memory when I would have loved seeing it revived. Some of the leaders who have a fleet of trucks see it as an enemy to their businesses.

  47. sunderstar says:

    One thing people should know is this is not a SADC Development agenda this is our own
    Developmental issue and why should we be worried with it. What Malawians need to do is stand together support this project and other people will come in, why should we Malawians fight our own developmental issues simply because they dont originate from the Area, or we dont support the party that is advancing it. That is why developmental structures which were done by Dr Banda some were left to Crumble like the Chilumba Jetty, you go there you will see good and expensive structures like cranes have fallen and structures are being demolished, we should have used Chilumba extensively as a northern corridor entry Port.
    Iam not surprised because Nyasatimes has always attacked this project and they have done every thing possible to discredit this project and certain group of people have done the same. One thing for sure is this is a viable project, what we need to do is negotiate @ 50/50 with our Brothers in MOCAMBIQUE. Nsanje Port is a two way entry point, there is the Rail and the River, Malawi only need to rehabilitate her side of the Rail to Beira, Mocambique already has indicate to do their part, what Malawians need to do now is to concentrate on the Rail first and then the water way.
    This corridor is being resisted heavily by the Malawian Mafia who owns trucks, these are evil people and they know once the Nsanje corridor is active they will go bankrupt and they are using people who are blindly opposing it. I like the stand of Chakwera President of MCP who said in one of his campaign speech that he will continue and support the Shire Zambezi water and vowed to continue with it once elected.

  48. Mbavi says:

    Mtika be serious when you write your articles. What makes you think the Nsanje port should be a SADC project? Which country will use it other than Malawi. SADC deals with projects that benefit all the SACD countries. Do you think Botswana, South Africa or Swaziland can benefit from the project?

    Don’t write just for the sake of writing. Be serious. Nsanje port is NOT a SADC issue or are trying to push it to be a SADC agenda. Sorry, you have shown your ignorance.

  49. tazingoyanikanipo makakana WO pamenepoo

  50. Kenkkk says:

    I suppose the last paragraph of your article hopefully covers the nsanje port projects as well despite being not specifically mentioned.

    Some of us believe it is a waste of money for that project and without the support of our neighbors it will go nowhere.

  51. Truck says:

    That port will work if only if you Construct it where Zambezi meet Shire River in Mozambique , Shire River water doesn’t flow constant for the Whole year that the problem to Construct such Port on Shire River.

  52. agnes wanzeru says:

    Chonde yesetsanibe. We goofed big time on this project. Koma titani tax payers money was already spent. Kusamva kwa Bingu.

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