My pitch is very simple, I’m Jappie Mhango and I think I’m the right person to be Minister of Transport and Public Works, Malawi Parliament learnt this week.
Mzimba South West legislator Khumbo Kachali, who is also a former State vice-president, had asked to know with Mhango was a capable minister.
Kachali was commenting on a ministerial statement Mhango presented updating the House on infrastructure projects.
“Let me congratulate the Honourable Minister for the statement. It is unfortunate that it has not been circulated, so we may be asking questions that, maybe, some answers are hidden. Never the less, he used to be a capable Chairman of volleyball and I am not very sure if he is a capable Minister. I will hear it today,” said Kachali.
In response, Mhango who is also member of parliament for ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) for Rumphi North and the governing party’s campaign director said he was a capable minister.
He said: “Mr Speaker, Sir, first is to inform my honourable colleague that I am a capable Minister and that is why I am in this ministry. If I were not capable, I would be long gone. So, I would like to assure him [Kachale] that I am very capable.”
Kachali also wanted the minister to explain the status of Mtwara Development Corridor, which analysts say it looked much more feasible project, though the idea was unceremoniously abandoned.
But Mhango said Ntwara project “is not dead.”
He said: “As I speak, we are now discussing with the ADB [African Development Bank] to help us with resources to do the stretch that connects to Zambia.
“After we are done with the Nkhata Bay-Mzuzu Road, we will connect all the way to Zambia because we want that corridor to be open all the way.”
For Malawi, a land-locked country, the urgency to have the corridors operational is important as they connect to sea ports in Mozambique and Tanzania for smooth transportation of imports and exports.
Mtwara Corridor is a unique project in that part of it is by water transport and caters for three countries, namely Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia.
The project requires the rehabilitation of ports, both in Malawi and Tanzania, the commissioning of a heavy capacity ferry on Lake Malawi and the rehabilitation of the roads from Lundazi (in Zambia) to Nkhata Bay via Mzimba and between Mbamba Bay and Songwe in Tanzania, according to the study.
Chancellor College economics professor Ben Kaluwa emphasised on the need for Malawi to prioritise the transport corridors as they are key to development.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :