Protest over delayed Lirangwe-Chingale-Machinga Road construction, petition delivered at Parliament

Residents living along the Lirangwe-Chingale-Mchinga Road have today held peaceful protest outside the Malawi Parliament to demonstrate their displeasure with the delay by the government to complete construction of the road.

Residents of Lirangwe-Chingale-Machinga Road hoisting placards with blunt messages—Photos by Watipaso Mzungu, Nyasa Times
Residents of Lirangwe-Chingale-Machinga Road hoisting placards with blunt messages–Photos by Watipaso Mzungu, Nyasa Times
Gondwa reading out the petition before delivering it to Chihana–Photos by Watipaso Mzungu, Nyasa Times
Gondwa presenting the petition to MP Chihana

The 61.2 km long road, which the Roads Authority (RA) designated as S139, starts at Lirangwe Trading Centre in Blantyre District and it extends northwards passing through Chingale and Chinseu Trading Centres.

The road passes through the gentle undulating plains of the western side of Zomba Mountain traversing through swampy areas at Chingale.

The project works would involve upgrading the existing earth standard road to class II bitumen standard road with a 6.7m carriage way  and 1.5m sealed shoulders on either side of the road.

At least, four bridges are expected to be constructed along the road.

Former President Joyce Banda first launched the road construction project in 2014, when her government committed US $19.6m for the work and was expected to be complete by 2018.

However, the government failed to meet the “90 days” pledge to begin the construction.

The erstwhile former President Peter Mutharika re-launched the construction of Lirangwe-Chingale turnoff road in June 2018.

The locals suspected that Mutharika’s promise was a campaign strategy to garner support from the Eastern Region ahead of the annulled 2019 presidential election.

Their fears were vindicated after the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)-led administration failed to live up to its billing until Mutharika was ousted from power by the Tonse Alliance in the June 2020 Fresh Presidential Election.

Since then, there has been no progress on the road, which, if improved, would improve mobility and accessibility to areas of high agricultural activity that also uses irrigation farming thereby providing means for transporting agricultural products to various market across the area and the Southern Region of Malawi.

Easy accessibility would enhance the economic activity of people around the area and ease movement of people to Malawi’s commercial city of Blantyre where they can access various services.

Tired of being fed with a trail of lies by politicians, a dozen of residents along the road today took to the Presidential Highway in Lilongwe to protest against further delayed construction work.

After the peaceful demonstration, the concerned citizens delivered a petition to Mzimba North legislator, Yeremiah Chihana, who represented all members of Parliament (MPs) in the National Assembly.

A representative of the residents, Francis Gondwa, said they are facing many challenges as the road becomes impassable during rainy season.

And speaking after receiving the petition, Chihana lamented the delay, stressing that it is denying the residents access to viable economic activities.

The Centre for Social Concern is tracking the project to ensure transparency and accountability is achieved in the implementation of the project.

The organization’s Programme Manager responsible for Economic Governance, Bernard Mphepo, said they are baffled to see the road in a bad shape yet there was money allocated for it in the national budget.

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Erik P
Erik P
1 month ago

Malawi has high unemployment but needs lots of roads. You know what most countries do in this situation? They borrow a little cash and build the roads utilising their cheap and readily available labour force. Paying lots of money to contractors (many managed by non Malawian companies) ensures we keep unemployment, get a larger debt and we wait ages for anything to happen.

We have arms, legs and brains. Each person living here on Malawi soil can make the country a better place.

Mikoko
1 month ago

I wish I were part of the demonstrators. Well done people of Chingale. Tarsals Ife sky Chilipa. Nafe we want the road from Balaka-Chilipa-Mangochi and Mbera-Ulongwe road done as soon as possible. And the Tsangano-Neno-Mwanza road is also long overdue. Malawians, let us wake up and demand Development. Otherwise, government has enough money that’s why it can afford 35 cabinet ministers and 20 presidential advisors.

Mwini muzi
Mwini muzi
1 month ago

No excuses valid enough to have this project stoped. They have seen that if they don’t demonstrate, nothing will happen.Comparing 2014 DPP and Tonse Alliance governments:DPP started with a bad note when the donor community had stopped aid and funding due to PP government cashgate.We felt it for almost three years through high inflation, depreciation of the Kwacha and with only one month forex cover. One wonders how they managed to have completed Chitakale- Phalombe road, Liwonde-Mangochi road, Lower Shire eastern bank K4bn bridge,Phalombe Hospital, stadiums and Community colleges, ICT centers and some community secondary schools etc all done in… Read more »

Khima
Khima
1 month ago

Nseu ulipo koma sunamalizedwe….some distance ndithu ndiyatala..ndinafikako ndithu mbali imeneyi..its one of very important roads

Ngoni
Ngoni
1 month ago

The road construction did start at Lilangwe up to Lundu or there about. It was supposed to be funded in bits from locally available resources. What is needed is for the current government to continue with the project. There is no evidence that funds were misused.

holacesha
holacesha
1 month ago
Reply to  Ngoni

Koma iwe cadet ugwidwa, sunathe

Donda wa Donda
Donda wa Donda
1 month ago

Things like this are opportunities for those in power. If I was Chakwera I would prioritise such projects because I know that I will build trust in Chingale where MCP is not popular. Of course not necessarily for political reasons but since I am in politics why not. I would not hold a huge political rally. Instead, I would only meet with the District officials from Blantyre, Zomba Machinga and TAs, GVHs, Village Heads and Ward Councillors and of course the Members of parliament. I would listen to these people about what it will take to successfully complete the project.… Read more »

Ginimbi, the illuminate, the likes of Bushiri

Demonstration worthy supporting

Malawi Timkonde
Malawi Timkonde
1 month ago

Since you do not know the prime sponsor of this demonstration, I will take my liberty of searching for other news

Ndafera Nkhande
Ndafera Nkhande
1 month ago

Zovuta kukamba atsogoleri athu amakonda bodza..Mukapita ku THYOLO or MULANJE misewu yambiri ndiya tala pamene anthu awa aku CHINGALE akuvutika ngati tili mboma latsamunda.Odala o Chakwera chityanipo kanthu apa.

Let
Let
1 month ago

He can’t. Just no ability. Even if you fasted for him.

james
james
1 month ago

please tiyeni tidziyika tala wothandiza wosati ngati cement


nafundo zalo
nafundo zalo
1 month ago

kodi simbali yomweyi pa dzana paja phungu anamanga ulalo osanja ndi matabwa okha for k3 million ? sopano and so many projexts in zomba were done on people but not physically seen. zinatha bwa?? zinazi muziona kae poyambila pake.
maboma adzulo ndi dzanawa ankangouzana zongodya ndalama.
no wonder NONE OF THE CORRUPTS has ever been reprimanded cifukwa a police ndi abale ao.
REST IN PEACE MAGUFULI

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