President Lazarus Chakwera has disclosed that he is talking to investors to fund the construction of the Orton Chirwa International Airport in Mzuzu as part of his manifesto implementation.
Chakwera said this on Monday when he met councillors and officials from Mzuzu City Council.
The President during campaign promised to construct an international airport in Mzuzu which will be named Orton Chirwa International Airport.
This will be in honour of late Orton Chirwa, the country’s first Attorney General after independence, who he recognises as the founding father of his Malawi Congress Party (MCP).
A British-trained lawyer, Orton Chirwa and his wife, Vera, had been jailed since their abduction from exile in Zambia in 1981. They went into exile after an abortive Cabinet revolt against the country’s long-time President, Hastings Kamuzu Banda.
Orton Chirwa died in Zomba maximum prison on 20 October 1992. Aged 73, he had been imprisoned for nearly 11 years for non-violent opposition to the MCP autocracy.
At various times during his imprisonment he had been kept in leg irons and much of his imprisonment was spent in solitary confinement.
Chakwera, who quit the pulpit as head of Malawi Assemblies of God in 2013 to join frontline politics, said it is time to heal about the past atrocities and have a new Malawi that has bound together nine political parties in Tonse Alliance government.
The President said he is talking to investors to fund the airport project.
He also promised construction of a railway line where the cost of national distribution will be minimal.
Chakwera also promised to establish an economic processing zone in Mzuzu for import substitution industry
He also said his government will upgrade and declare Karonga as a Municipal City “in order to harness the near border trade potential, provide tax incentives for warehousing industry in Karonga and Mzuzu for all goods that enter Malawi through the Northern Corridor on foreign trucks to allow shared business with local transporters, except for petroleum products.”
Chakwera also said his administration will ensure establishment of a major technical college in Mzuzu to run short and long courses to prepare and equip the workforce there with the skills and artisanship to enable them fill up jobs his government will create in the north as part of the 4 million jobs that he plans to create nationally.
Chakwera said government will be embarking on these infrastructural projects through grants and loans with low interest rates.
“In some cases, we will go out of our way to deliver projects that are outside the budget, but we promised to do them,” he said.
Chakwera told Mzuzu councillors that will engage the Ministry of Local Government to find ways on how government can assist the council overcome financial challenges the city council is facing after the council appealed for a K1.8 billion bailout.
Mzuzu City Mayor Kondwani Nyasulu said if assisted, the council will repay the loan.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :