Youths in Mzuzu have said they will proceed with demonstrations following the expiry of a 21-day ultimatum they gave to government to start constructing the long-awaited Mzuzu Youth Centre.
In an interview yesterday, Mzuzu Youth Association (MYA) coordinator Frank Chirambo said they are currently mobilizing resources towards the mass demonstrations to express their anger over government’s continued delay to start the project.
“The demonstrations will be held any day from June 5. We are currently putting in place logistics for the protests. We have a right to peaceful demonstrations as enshrined in the Constitution of Republic of Malawi following the expiry of 21 days that we gave government to start the construction works,” he said.
The project has failed to take off in the past eight years despite government allocating funding to it in national budgets.
Said Chirambo: “As you might be aware, MYA engaged the minister responsible, Ulemu Msungama and he promised us that the construction project would start between March and April 2021.
“Despite his promises, nothing has been done and while we are all aware that Parliament approved K780 million in the 2020/2021 National Budget towards the project, we have had enough of the empty promises; hence, the planned demonstrations.”
But Msungama said it is unfortunate that the youth are insisting on holding demonstrations when they have been assured that the project will atart soon.
“We talked with them that the construction works will start soon. Why are they talking of demonstrations? As I am talking now, the contractor is mobilising equipment and will be at the site within the next three weeks,” he said.
As construction for Mzuzu Youth Centre is yet to commerce, similar projects that came later such as upgrading of Kamuzu Institute of Sports and construction of an Indoor Netball Court in Lilongwe have started.