Malawi Police moves to decongest M1 Kanengo-Old Town road for SADC dignitaries

The Malawi Police Service (MPS) has urged motorists in the capital Lilongwe to use alternative roads when accessing City Centre, Kanengo or Old Town and avoid the M1 Kanengo-Old Town stretch.

National police spokesman, James Kadadzera, said on Sunday that the move is to decongest the Kanengo-Old Town Road which most dignitaries will be using as the country hosts the 41st Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) Heads of State and Government Ordinary Summit.

National Police Spokesperson, James Kadadzera

“Malawi continues to receive delegates for the 41st Sadc Summit which started on 9 August and will end on 19 August, police officers are tasked with escorting foreign dignitaries from the Airport to the venue, Thus, the M1 Road, from the Airport Turn-off at Lumbadzi passing Kanengo to the Interchange at Area 18, is busy most of the times,” Kadadzera said in a statement.

Kadadzera said motorists should give way for convoys and use alternative roads.

“People should cooperate with police officers who are positioned in strategic places in Lilongwe to enhance safety and security,” he said.

Nyasa Times has learnt that presently police officers are manning roadblocks and conducting stop-and-search operations to root out any criminal elements.

Kadadzera also warned that any vehicle on the road without a number plate would be impounded.

On Friday, Eisenhower Mkaka, Malawi’s foreign affairs and international cooperation minister, on behalf of the country, assumed the role of chairman of SADC ‘council of ministers.’

Mkaka, who is also secretary general for the governing Malawi Congress Party (MCP), took over from Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Republic of Mozambique, Verónica Nataniel Macamo Dlhovo, who led the Council for the past twelve months.

In his acceptance remarks, Mkaka highlighted that he was taking over at a time the region and the entire world was reeling with the effects of Covid-19 currently ravaging economies.

“I will rely on the member states’ support,” Mkaka said at the Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC) where the Council is having closed door meetings to set the agenda for next week’s meeting of heads of state and governments, where president Lazarus Chakwera will assume the Sadc chairmanship.

Nyasa Times has since learnt that at least eight heads of State and Government have confirmed their attendance to the summit, according to Secretary for Foreign Affairs Luckie Sikwese.

“We are working diligently towards a successful summit. It is our opportunity and we want to show that Malawi deserves to host such events. About eight heads of State, vice presidents and a prime minister will attend the meeting,” he said.

Some of the heads of State that have confirmed their attendance are South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa, Tanzania’s Samia Suluhu, Mozambique’s Fillipe Nyusi and Zimbabwe’s Emmerson Mnangagwa.

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