Locals to march against Chingale road project delay

People whose houses were marked for demolition to pave way for the construction of Lirangwe-Chingale-Machinga road are planning to petition the district commissioner’s office over the delay by the authorities to finish the construction of the road.

This was disclosed during a visit by a faith based organization, Centre for Social Concern (CFSC) in the area to appreciate the progress of the road which has kept people waiting for more than 10 years since the authorities promised to construct the road.

The concerned citizens said apart from being furious with the delay of the road, they have also been kept in suspense about their compensation for many years since their houses were earmarked for demolition to pave way for the construction works.

One of the concerned locals, Hanna Nkomera of Mpalume village, said her business is stuck after her shop was earmarked for demolition.

Nkamera said: “It has been a long time since my shop was marked to be demolished and I was told to stop plying my business from the shop and wait for the compensation but until now nothing has happened.”

Chairperson of the concerned citizen’s Chingale task force, Francis Gondwa, who hails from Gwaza village, said the communities are disappointed with the delay of the project and the issue of compensation a development which has forced them to plan for a protest.

Ministry of Transport and Public Works Spokesperson, James Chakwera, declined to comment on the matter saying he can only do so if he first speak to officials from roads authority.

Efforts to speak to Roads Authority spokesperson, Portia Kajanga, proved futile as she could not be reached through her mobile phone.

Blantyre North constituency Parliamentarian Francis Phiso, whose people are also the victims said he is aware of the issue and appealed for patience from the people saying the issue of compensation in being handled by the Roads Authority and the District Commissioner’s offices.

Centre for Social concern programs officer for Economic Justice, Bernard Mphepo said the delay of the project is a clear infringement of the concerned citizen’s rights.

Mphepo added that in 2017 government allocated K4 billion for compensation, but no one among the affected families has received the money a development which is sad.

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