Construction of the long-awaited Jenda-Edingeni Road in Mzimba will commence soon and that government will within the next six months identify a contractor for the project, President Joyce Banda pledged on Friday.
She was wrapping up the governing People’s Party (PP) campaign in Mzimba South-west at Edingeni Primary School Ground ahead of by-elections on October 9, 2012. There are also similar polls in Mzimba Central on the same day.
President Banda observed that sadly, the previous regime (Democratic Progressive Party) had inexplicably failed to construct this strategic road despite that funds were already identified.
“I personally sourced the money for this important and strategic project when I served in that regime and the funds were inexplicably diverted to other projects; I wonder which ones. I will personally come here within the next six months to lay a foundation stone for this important road,” said President Banda, attracting a standing ovation.
The former DPP-led government of the late dictator Bingu wa Mutharika failed to construct the road even after it signed a K1.5 billion loan agreement with Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) meant for the project.
Mzimba South-west fell vacant following the appointment of the incumbent MP, Khumbo Kachali, in April, 2012 to the position of Vice President of the Republic. The Mzimba Central Constituency fell vacant following the death of MP Professor Donton Mkandawire.
The President said she had been assured that the Malawi Government, through the Office of the Director of Public Procurement (ODPP), will soon be advertising in both local and international media, calling for potential contractors.
She urged the people to vote for the youthful People’s Party candidate Raymond Nkhata, saying he alone can be the true representative of the people and a facilitator of crucial development projects because of his close proximity to government.
“PP is the ruling party today; it would be unwise to vote for other candidates other than the one standing on the governing party’s ticket. The message I leave with you today is that your own son, Khumbo Kachali is the Vice President of the country. The only way to display the kind of excitement and appreciation for this is to vote for Mr. Nkhata,” she said, urging on Nkhata to “get down to serious business next week”.
Among some of the initiatives that the President asked Nkhata to do was to register all hunger-stricken families so that they benefit from a targeted government free food provision programme.
She said she was aware that many families in various parts of the country, including in Mzimba, had no food and that government and its co-operating partners had moved in to avert any adverse effects.
Earlier, the President announced that Ngoni Paramount Chief M’mbelwa who is hospitalized in South Africa was recuperating. She said she had directed that Government meets all hospital and travel bills.
She said chiefs are instrumental for rapid development of the country as they lead the people at grassroots and that her government would continue to respect chiefs in whatever form.
Other speakers at the rally included Vice President Kachali, PP Secretary General, Henry Chibwana, PP campaign Chairman in the constituency Frank Tumpale Mwenifumbo and new defectors to the PP, DPP’s Norman Nyirenda and Chinkhokwe Banda, former Alliance for Democracy vice president.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :