Malawi’s popular mount Mulanje porters race clocks 16

The Mulanje Mountain annual 25-kilometre porters race that was held on Saturday at Likhubula Forestry Office and was organized by the Mulanje Mountain Conservation Trust has clocked 16 years since its establishment.

This year’s race drew 377 runners comprising 72 women who took part in the 25 kilometres race going up and down the mountain.

Speaking during the prize presentation, Minister of Tourism and Culture, Daniel Liwimbi described the running competition through the mountain as a catalyst for tourism attraction since it attracts people of all races that come from different countries.

He said countries like Tanzania and Kenya use their mountains like Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya to boost their tourism industry saying he did not see why Malawi should fail to utilize Mulanje Mountain for the same.

Participants at the porters race

Liwimbi therefore called on different stakeholders to join hands in protecting natural resources in Mulanje Mountain observing that issues of tourism should not be left to government alone.

“As government, we provide a conducive environment to private sectors who wish to venture into tourism and we would be glad if a company would wish to build a Five Star Hotel on top of Mulanje Mountain,” said Liwimbi amid applause and handclapping from the people.

The Minister then commended the NBS Bank for supporting the event for the 5 year period which he said has assisted the winners to open bank accounts with them through the prize money they get from the race.

In an interview, Liwimbi said establishment of mining industry in Mulanje Mountain could at one point compromise tourism if the mining is not well sustained adding that consultations were underway to map the way forward on how mining and tourism could go together to improve the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

NBS Bank Chief Executive Officer, Gilford Kadzakumanja said their participation in the event signifies the total gratitude the company enjoys from its customers saying one way of giving them back was to promote the conservation of natural resources in Mulanje Mountain through porters race sponsorship.

Kadzakumanja also commended Carlsberg Malawi Limited for partnering with them in supporting the event.

In this year’s event, winners went home richer with money vouchers ranging from K20,000 to K60, 000 and Evance Nyezule has again this year come first in men’s category covering a distance in 2hours 5 minutes 4 seconds beating his own last year’s record which was 2h 7 min 4 sec.

Tereza Master beat last year’s position 1 winner, Doris Fischer by covering the distance in 2hr 51min 56 sec. Other runners up include:  Leo Chikhwaza on position 2, Harry Sichali position 3, Charles Musowa position 4 and Elias Chapola on position 5. Other girls who did well are: Doris Fischer position 2, Dorothy Gawani  position 3, Margret Jenala 4 and Olive Fischer position 5.

The runners who participated in the race came from the Sapitwa Athletics Club, the Pharamata Athletics Club, Malawi Defence Force (MDF) and other interested individuals. Last year 350 runners were registered.

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