UTM Party presidential candidate Saulos Klaus Chilima has pledged to construct a durable road to Neno to ease mobility and seamlessly connect the district to the rest of the country if voted into power in the May 21 Tripartite Elections.
The UTM Party torchbearer, who is also the country’s estranged Vice-President, made the pledge during a political rally he addressed at Chikonde Primary School ground in Neno on Wednesday.
Chilima said the current road to Neno is not worth being called a road “but a mere njira [footpath]”.
He said: “When we take charge of government in May, we are going to construct a durable and magnificent road here in Neno not this njira and the money for that road will come from you, Malawians, through your taxes.”
During the rally, Chilima, who is the first presidential hopeful to address a rally in the district after Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) launched the 60-day official campaign period, lobbied people in the district to vote for him as President and UTM Party councillors and members of Parliament.
He also reiterated his position that he will be “the last Vice-President to be victmised”, saying the holder of the office in the UTM Party administration will have specific duties to avoid breeding a bad working relationship that has rocked the performance of the country’s President and Vice-President over the years.
Earlier, UTM Party secretary general Patricia Kaliati said the current administration has failed to develop Neno district where she said people are still crying for a good tarmac road.
She said: “It is very sad that this government is able to construct tarmac roads going to mere individual properties, yet you my fellow Malawians here in Neno are struggling to transport your farm produce such as Irish potatoes and oranges to markets in town due to poor roads.”
Kaliati also said it was unfortunate that in the 21st century some places around Ligowe Trading Centre in the district have no mobile phone network coverage to the extent that they climb trees and higher grounds to get a signal and communicate.
Speaking earlier, group village head Donda said Neno is still lagging behind in development. The chief cited a lack of district council offices, district secondary school and community colleges as examples that the district is not developed.