Phalombe residents can now afford a smile if President Peter Mutharika’s pledge that construction of the long-awaited district hospital will start “within the next two to three months” is anything to go by.
The President made the assurance on Wednesday at Naminjiwa Primary School ground in Phalombe when he launched the Southern Region community technical colleges programme with the opening of Naminjiwa Community Technical College.
In an address monitored on taxpayer-funded Malawi Broadcasting Station (MBC) television, Mutharika said government will this Friday open tenders and invite bids to choose a contractor for the construction of the district hospital. He said, thereafter, construction should start in two or three months.
Said Mutharika: “I am well aware of the non-existence of a district hospital here in Phalombe and I am also aware it has been a long time coming. As such, I will see to it that a district hospital is constructed soon, this I assure you.”
The President also said government is in the process of identifying a new contractor to finalise the long-stalled Zomba-Jali-Phalombe-Chitakale Road.
Earlier, the President said Malawi can only move forward if the people united regardless of political or other differences.
On the community colleges programme, the President said the programme has the potential to reduce poverty and evidence in most parts of the world has shown that job creation is one sure way of achieving sustainable poverty eradication.
Phalombe District Hospital project has been a thorny issue for a long time with people asking government to clarify on allocations in the national budget since 2005 towards the project.
In June this year, disgruntled people in Phalombe petitioned the President on the stalled project. They asked the President to visit the district within 14days and give them an update.