The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has written Vice-President Saulos Chilima to use his executive powers to ensure the Muloza-Mulanje Drift-Sukasanje-Chiringa Road is urgently rehabilitated.
The road connects Mulanje and Phalombe districts, but was abandoned over two years ago after government terminated a contract with M.A. Kharafi and Sons, a contractor that was rehabilitating the road.
The road is currently impassable after it was damaged by the devastating impacts of Tropical Freddy early this year.
Chilima announced the termination of the contract with M.A. Kharifa and Sons when he toured the road in 2020, where he also assured Malawians that a new contractor would be identified to complete the project.
“Our immediate fear is that anytime the rainy season will be setting in, and this means that the same areas that were hardest hit by the devastating Cyclone Freddy will be cut off again, and in the process making it difficult for the area to have access to both food and agricultural implements such as fertilisers,” says Cdedi executive director Sylvester Namiwa in a letter copied to Minister of Transport and Public Works Jacob Hara.
Namiwa says if the worst gets to the worst, Chilima should direct the Roads Authority to use military bridges, gabion baskets and poles to replace the loose soil used while working on the more permanent measures.
“Furthermore, in the spirit of transparency and accountability, and in line with the Access To Information (ATI) Act, Malawians may wish to be reminded by you Sir, on what happened to the previous contractor M.A. Kharaffi and Sons and the resources that were earmarked for this project,” reads the letter in part.
In an interview, Namiwa said they specifically wrote Chilima because he inspected the area and made assurances to the people before the disaster struck.
Meanwhile, Press Secretary in the Office of the Vice-President Pilirani Phiri confirmed receiving Cdedi’s letter, adding that he would get it to the attention of Chilima.