Karonga-Chitipa road named ‘Bingu Highway’

The uncompleted 106kms Karonga- Chitipa road has been named Bingu Highway in honour of President Bingu wa Mutharika.

This was done by Chiefs from Karonga and Chitipa with their respective ruling DPP MPs on Saturday.

They claim the decision was done in consultation with their constituents.

Notably T/A Kyungu was not at the function but sub Chief Kalonga (snr Chief Karonga) was at the function.

Construction work on Karonga-Chitipa road. Photo: ndagha blog by Victor Kaonga

Despite naming the road after the President’s first name, people in northern districts of Karonga and Chitipa will have to wait a little longer before they can start taking pleasure in smooth travel between them.

Malawi’s Roads Authority (RA) Public Relations Officer Portia Kajanga said they have set 31st October 2012 “as the date when we think all works will have been completed.”

China has pumped about US$70 million, which is around 10 billion Malawi Kwacha for the road project which is being constructed by the China Road and Bridge Corporation.

According to Roads Authority, so far about 77 percent of the whole project had been completed with all the 12 bridges ready.

Once completed, people in the two districts will ululate and celebrate because all the country’s three governments have been promising the road but never fulfilled their pledge.

The road connects Karonga Boma with Chitipa Boma and passes through Kayelekera Mines Turn-Off, Wiliro and Tondola Trading Centers. It then proceeds to Kamyala Boarder Post in Zambia.

It is greatly expected to improve economic activities of the people, particularly farmers who will easily access markets in the two districts. It will also boost cross border trade between Malawi and Zambia.

In the past, a drive between Karonga and Chitipa used to take more than five hours but upon completion of the road, motorists will only take an hour and some minutes.

China took over construction of the road from Taiwan in 2008 after Malawi dumped the Taipei Government for China.

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