Huge misunderstanding emanating from compensation to be given to residents whose fences and houses will be demolished due to the construction of Area 23, Kamuzu Barracks road have led to the delay of the project by almost 10 months, Nyasa Times understands.
The project which is part of the government initiative to improve road network in all cities including the capital city, Lilongwe in particular and the Malawi as a whole, has seen township roads wearing new faces bringing relief to car owners as it has reduced car maintenance costs.
Speaking in an interview with Nyasa Times, Roads Authority chief executive officer Emmanuel Matapa said government has prioritized township roads so that issues of congestion, car maintenance, communication and conduction of business are eased.
He said: “Indeed there were those misunderstandings as regards compensation in area 23 but they have been sorted out. We are now ready to start the Kamuzu Barracks, Masambabise, Area 23 project in earnest and as I am speaking the contractor is on site. This project is beneficial to the residents of Chilinde, Kamuzu Barracks and Area 23 because it will ease mobility problems.
“We are hopeful that within the shortest period possible we will deliver the road to them. Government has made it a priority to have all city roads maintained so that development can be taken to another insurmountable level.”
Member of Parliament for the area Ulemu Msungama (MCP) who has been conducting sensitization meetings in the area also confirmed to Nyasa Times that there were huge misunderstandings in the area as regards compensation but now the issue is water under the bridge.
According to Msungama some misguided individuals were going around in Chilinde, Masambabise and Area 23 that they will get compensation if part of their fence or even houses is demolished due to the road project.
“I would like to put the record straight that there is no money for compensation because we demanded this project. This road will open up the whole Area 23 as it will connect people from as far as Gologota and Namichimba to essential facilities such as Kamuzu Central Hospital, Banks, Stadiums and even main markets in the city,” said Msungama.
During an impromptu meeting which took place in Area 23 on Wednesday one of the residents named Mayi Jere assured her fellow inhabitants that there is no compensation for any structure to be set up because the project will benefit the whole township which for a long time had no proper access road.
“I have been conducting my own investigations but what I have learnt is that there is no compensation whatsoever. Even in Ntandire, government demolished hawkers, fences and even houses but no compensation was given out,” Jere told the gathering.
However, some residents who spoke on condition of anonymity at the end of the meeting said they believe that there is money for compensation but that some ‘individuals’ want to ‘eat’ it.
“Everywhere government is carrying out projects and people have had their houses or even fences demolished they get a little something. We are surprised that his area is being treated differently. We will still pursue with this matter to get to the bottom of it,” one of the residents named Mwazani commented.
The 3.6 kilometre road is expected to cost about K1.4 billion.
The meeting was attended by over sixty people and prominent individuals present included chiefs, Councillor William Nguluwe and Dafter January of State House ward.
Government has embarked on a serious road network face-lifting project in all the cities and is being carried out by the Roads Authority currently headed by Emmanuel Matapa an accomplished engineer.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :