Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Kondwani Nakhumwa on Tuesday launched the K1.8 billion City Roads Upgrading Project in Blantyre City.
Nankhumwa said when people talk about development in cities, one of the things that count most is the road network.
“Roads in our Cities and Districts across the country are very vital because we cannot talk about development in our country in the absence of good roads,” said Nankhumwa.
“So we are glad that some of the roads in Blantyre are being upgraded,” he said.
The Minister warned people against vandalising public facilities saying the long arm of the law would catch up with those involved in the criminal act.
“Let me send a very strong warning to people who vandalise public facilities. This is one of the major challenges facing our Cities. I wish to appeal to all to restrain from putting all these resources that have contributed significantly to the transformation of Blantyre City to waste.
“The long arm of the law will catch up with you and I pray that our courts mete stiff penalties on vandals to deter others from indulging in the same criminal acts,” he warned.
Blantyre City Mayor Noel Chalamanda said the Council selected to upgrade roads that would have positive impact in the City and not only a particular area.
“We did all this with guidance from the secretariat. The idea was that we should for a minute forget the demarcations that divide the City in Wards o Constituencies and think about all residents as beneficiaries of these funds,” said Chalamanda.
“Honourable Minister, may you convey our appreciation to His Excellency the State President, Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika for this support. We are grateful to his government and our pledge is to use the funds prudently and for the benefit of the people of Blantyre City,” he said.
The roads that would be upgraded under the project are Off Mugabe Highway to Mpingwe (2.08 km), Angelogoveya to Manje (4.160 km), Living Waters to Zion (2.045 km), Chilomoni Ring Road (3.570 km) and Chimseu to Magalasi (0.936 km), Landrover Chilimba to Level crossing in Magalasi (1.247 km) roads.
Part of the K1.8 billion has gone into rehabilitation of street lights on Kandodo Cornershop to Kameza via Mbayani, Chirimba road, CI to Green Corner road, Kwacha roundabout via MBC TV to Kudya area and Sunnyside to Manyowe road.