Vandals damage bridge in Nkhotakota to force motorists pay K3,000 to pass through

Vandals in Nkhotakota are deliberately damaging a bridge by removing planks to force motorists pay a fee of K3,000 if they are to be assisted to pass through.
Those who fail to pay the fee at the public infrastructure are not allowed to pass through.
Minister of Transport Jacob Hara has since ordered armed police officers to start patrolling the Lipsozi Bridge on the M5 road in Nkhotakota, to curb the vandalism of planks on the bridge.
Speaking when he toured the road on Monday, Hara said the move follows an observation that  planks are being vandalised almost every week by people who later collect money, K 3,000 from motorists that has been assisted to pass.
On the much awaited rehabilitation works of the road,  the minister said a Chinese contractor, China Railways 20, who is already on ground will start the project soon from Kaphatenga in Salima to Benga.
He also said a Weighbridge is being constructed at Dwangwa in Nkhotakota to ensure heavy goods vehicles are not damaging the road through overloading.
Hara said the road is in a very bad state and needed attention years ago.
“Malawians let us be patriotic and guard our infrastructure against vandalism, for ages vandalism has cost us billions of Kwachas, this malpractice needs to stop,” Hara lamented.
He said the government has ordered the contractor to repair it before major construction works on M5 Road start.
“Overloading is also a big challenge that is compromising the lifespans of our infrastructure and strength of our bridges, this one will soon be a thing of the past because we are putting up a weighbridge, at Dwangwa,” said Hara.
The first phase of the M5 Road Project involves the construction of a 60-kilometer stretch between Kaphatenga in  Salima and Benga in Nkhotakota.
The Lakeshore Road is one of the strategic roads, especially to the country’s tourism industry besides farming and agriculture.

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