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Chakwera launches upgrading works for Kenyetta Drive

Lilongwe, August, 31: President Dr Lazarus Chakwera says the upgrading of roads and implementation of many other projects will create more jobs for citizens, that will in turn empower them economically.

He made remarks at Bingu International Convention Center (BICC) in Lilongwe on Tuesday after presiding over the ground breaking event of the road project.

“Lilongwe deserves better attention just like any other place, we need to make Lilongwe clean and it is a role of everyone. In few months, we will launch the rehabilitation works of the M1 Road, thanks to government development partners,” he said.

The president then warned those involved in corrupt practices and continue breaking laws of the land that justice will take its course.

The Mzimba Street and Kenyatta Drive, which connects Lilongwe Old town and City Centre, will be upgraded to six lanes.

Kenyatta road starts from Parliament roundabout, through Bisnowaty past Tsoka market near Constantini to Shoprite in Area 3.

Deputy Minister of Transport Nancy Mdooko, said government is very committed to upgrade dozens of roads to improve road network in the country.

“Construction works will include construction of an additional bridge along Lingadzi River and partial Clover Leaf Interchange to replace the roundabout at Kamuzu Central Hospital Petroda filling station, among many roads earmarked for construction and upgrading,” Mdooko said.

Commencing on 1st September 2023, the 3.9km road will last 18 months and will be ready for use by 23rd February 2023, with street lights fully installed costing about K19 billion.

Mzimba road will be upgraded from crossroads roundabout to Central Medical Stores.

In Lilongwe other roads in the 2021/2022 budget include, expansion to dual carriage of the M1 Road from Kamuzu International Airport junction to Mzimba Turn-off.

In his remarks, Roads Authority Board Chairperson, Joe Ching’ani, said the road will be constructed with high standards that will be durable for long, although Covid-19 has affected the institution.

“The board is very ready to offer good works on roads and bridges, not substandard services.

Apart from having massive facelift, once completed it will reduce travel time which used to take nearly 1 hour, it will now be only ten minutes, enhancing road safety between pedestrians and motorists and reducing operating costs in terms of wear and tear and usage of fuel,” he said.

He added that, the challenge suffocating fast and timely completion of services by was late funding of projects.

“Your excellency, the big problem we have is the new IFIMIS at Capitol Hill, which sits on money without being released for long, slowing development and retarding your image in process.

“Vetting is another big challenge that we must mention that Roads Authority is very uncomfortable with. I know by saying this, I will step on someone’s foot,” Ching’ani alluded.

He then assured the gathering that the Roads Authority will not accommodate shoddy work in any way.

The road upgrading, is in line with the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS III), 2018 and Transport Master Plan, 2018 the MW2063, 2021 which are recent policy documents that articulate issues related to both economic growth and development in the transport sector.

With funding from Malawi government, through the Ministry of Transport, the road is being constructed by the China Civil Engineering Construction Company, with Roads Authority as implementing agency, under the supervision of David Consulting Engineers.