Concerned citizens summon MPs over project delay

A task force which was instituted to push for quick completion of the construction of Lirangwe-Chingale-Machinga Road has summoned three lawmakers whose constituencies shall benefit from the road to answer on why there has been little progress on the work.

YFM’s recent visit to the project area, confirmed that only first phase of the project, which covers only 20 kilometers, has taken shape.

The whole project, which commenced in 2008, is supposed to cover 63 kilometers.

Members of Parliament to be summoned are Lonnie Chijere Phiri for Zomba Chingale, William Susuwere Banda for Zomba Lisanjala, and Francis Phiso for Blantyre north.

The task force chairperson, Francis Gondwa, said people who are expected to benefit from the road have now lost patience and have resorted to summon their parliamentarians to enquire why the project is taking such a snail’s pace.

Gondwa said: “We think the project is being politicized so we want to hear the truth from our legislatures and if they are not going to give us a tangible response then we will hold peaceful demonstrations to deliver our petition to the District Commissioner.”

One of the legislatures to be summoned, Lonnie Chijere Phiri of Zomba Chingale Constituency, said she shares her grievances with the electorates and has promised to make herself available for the meeting if summoned.

Spokesperson for Roads Authority Portia Kajanga, declined to comment more on the issue but admitted that she is aware of the people’s grievances.

But Programs Officer for Economic Governance at the Centre for Social Concern, a faith based organization which empowers citizens to hold the authorities accountable, Benard Mphepo, said the delay is a clear indication that government is denying its citizens the right to access the development.

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