A presidential aide has said President Lazarus Chakwera’s administration is set to construct a mini Capital Hill in the north to enable government machinery work from the region whenever the Head of State is there.
State House spokesperson and presidential press secretary Brian Banda described this as one of the signature development projects of what he repeatedly called ‘Chakwera administration’ has earmarked for the northern region.
Answering a question at a Weekly Brief which was held at Mzuzu State Lodge on Monday, Banda said the north has been earmarked for landmark infrastructure projects.
He said Chakwera means well for the country and will champion projects that will change the face of the northern region by among other things implementing the President’s manifesto.
“During the campaign trail, the President promised signature programmes that will happen here in the north. The President talked about a mini Capital Hill so that the President and ministers that accompany him can have office space to work from.
“The President also talked about a brand-new campus for Mzuzu University which will increase intake and diversification of facilities.
“He also mentioned of building Inkosi Mbelwa University which replaces the failed Mombera University. The Chakwera Administration will ensure that this is done,” said Banda.
During the elections campaign, Chakwera promised that the Tonse Alliance government of MCP and UTM Party with other seven parties in partnership will take on the establishment of Mombera University in Mzimba which has stalled and call it Inkosi Mbelwa University.
He accused the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) for neglecting the project while the plaque President Peter Mutharika unveiled in 2015.
Chakwera, apart from promising completion of Mombera University, pledged many development projects in the North, including upgrade and expand Mzuzu Airport to international status, moving it from its current site in the middle of Mzuzu City towards the area between lakeshore district of Nkhatabay and Mzuzu so it serves allowing space for expansion.
He also promised construction of a railway line where the cost of national distribution will be minimal.
Chakwera also promised to establish an economic processing zone in Mzuzu for import substitution industry
He also said his government will upgrade and declare Karonga as a Municipal City “in order to harness the near border trade potential, provide tax incentives for warehousing industry in Karonga and Mzuzu for all goods that enter Malawi through the Northern Corridor on foreign trucks to allow shared business with local transporters, except for petroleum products.”
Chakwera also said his administration will ensure establishment of a major technical college in Mzuzu to run short and long courses to prepare and equip the workforce there with the skills and artisanship to enable them fill up jobs his government will create in the north as part of the 4 million jobs that he plans to create nationally.
During the briefing on Monday, the Press Secretary said the current administration has plans for an eco-tourism package that will see development of a good transport network linking Chintheche, NkhataBay and Likoma.
He said Likoma jetty was one of the priorities to be advanced.
Other projects that were commissioned by the previous administration will be sustained saying: “The projects do not belong to a particular party; they are for Malawians.”
Other projects in the offing include a railway line is also in the offing to connect Salima and Mbeya in Tanzania, an international airport in Mzuzu which will be known as Orton Chirwa International Airport on completion and upgrading the status of NkhataBay to a municipality.
Late Orton Chirwa, who hailed from Nkhatabay, was the country’s first Attorney General after independence.
According to Chakwera, Orton Chirwa was the founder of Malawi Congress Party (MCP), which he leads now.
A British-trained lawyer, Orton Chirwa and his wife, Vera, had been jailed since their abduction from exile in Zambia in 1981. They went into exile after an abortive Cabinet revolt against the country’s long-time President, Hastings Kamuzu Banda.
Orton Chirwa died in prison in Zomba on 20 October 1992. Aged 73, he had been imprisoned for nearly 11 years for non-violent opposition to the MCP autocracy.
At various times during his imprisonment he had been kept in leg irons and much of his imprisonment was spent in solitary confinement.
Chakwera, who quit the pulpit as head of Malawi Assemblies of God in 2013 to join frontline politics, said it is time to heal about the past atrocities and have a new Malawi that has bound together nine political parties in Tonse Alliance government.
Apart from UTM the main partner of MCP , other alliance partners in Tonse, include People’s Party, Alliance for Democracy, People’s Progressive Movement, Freedom Party, Umodzi Party and Malawi Forum for National Development.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :