President Joyce Banda has said road infrastructure is key to economic development especially in rural hard-to-reach areas like Chingale in Zomba where people have waited in vain for a tarmac road for over five decades since the country’s independence.
President Banda made the remarks at Namitembo Primary School ground in Zomba after she officially launched the 62km Machinga-Chingale-Lirangwe road that will connect Blantyre –Zomba and Machinga districts.
She told the gathering the road was one of her dreams and the launch marked the realization of the vision of transformation of the people in the catchment area socially and economically.
President Banda said Chingale is a potential agricultural area and the road will open up markets and easy transportation of farm produce to traders from Blantyre and other areas.
She also said the road will create jobs for the youth during construction adding she had asked the contractor Mota-Engil to reduce the construction period of four years saying people in the area have been waiting for the road for a long time.
Turning to politics, president Banda asked the people to vote for the Peoples Party (PP) to be assured of continuation of special programmes such as Mudzi transformation, Cow a family, Goat distribution, public works and social cash transfer among others.
“When we take government on May 20, Mudzi transformation will continue until we have reached out to many needy people in the rural areas. The Farm In-put Subsidy Programme(FISP) and the Farm Loan Fertilizer Scheme will continue,” she said.
President Banda also said the PP government will enhance railway transportation system and water transportation system on Lake Malawi saying soon she will launch a new Water Vessel being built by Mota-Engil to replace Illala Vessel which has lived out its age.
Emily Banda Road Authority Board Chairperson said the 62 km road, 8 metres wide will have 5 big bridges with a life span of 20 years and expected to influence rural agricultural trading center opened such as Chingale, Chipini and Chimseu among others.
She however, asked the communities to avoid Encroachment, vandalism and thefts of road signs and other facilities adding these help road users to avoid road accidents.
At the same rally PP Eastern Region Provincial Chairperson Samson Msosa announced that 300 United Democratic Front (UDF) supporters and 100 Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) supporters had joined the ruling PP of which 10 were paraded including the District Secretary.