Vice-President Saulos Chilima and Minister of Transport and Public Works Jappie Mhango have been involved in a verbal tirade over the progress of the 75-kilometre Njakwa-Livingstonia Road project in Rumphi.
Speaking during a televised rally in Rumphi as leader of UTM Party after touring the road on March 9, Chilima called on President Peter Mutharika to take drastic measures on ministers and other officials who are allegedly misinforming him that the road is on course.
Said Chilima: “People who were saying the Njakwa Road is in progress were telling the President lies. We are just seeing soil and vehicles. If these are the kind of lies the President can be fed, Malawi will never develop.”
But in reaction, Mhango took journalists on Wednesday to tour the road and witness if indeed there is no progress.
In an interview, he said a section of 13.8 kilometres of the 75.8 km road has been upgraded to bitumen standard. The minister said earthworks are at various levels.
“If we say earthworks are at various levels it means there is progress. Tarmac is the final product of the works. So, for Chilima to say there is no progress, that is not true,” he said.
Mhango said Mota-Engil, as the main contractor, subcontracted other sections to Sawa Group and Zam’mbuyo Construction companies to speed up works with expectation to finish the project next year.
President Peter Mutharika launched the four-year project in March, 2015.