Government has withheld about K600 million for construction of tarmac roads in Mzuzu, a development that has seen Mzuzu City Council (MCC) reducing some of the works on feeder roads.
From the 2015/16 to 2016/17 fiscal year, Parliament approved K2.9 billion and the roads are supposed to be completed by February 2017.
However, the council has so far received a sum of K2.312 billion in the two financial years instead of K2.9 billion.
A report by MCC shows that progress of construction works has been hampered by a number of factors, including funding.
The council’s public relations officer Karen Msiska yesterday confirmed the cuts in funding.
He said the council will also not be able to construct 9.9 kilometres of five feeder roads by February 2017 as earlier planned.
Asked what happened to the K600 million already approved by Parliament as part of the K1.4 billion and K1.5 billion in the 2015/16 and 2016/17 fiscal years, Msiska said the source of funding was better placed to explain.
“The money comes after we have already made budgets and we are forced to revise our budgets. This is affecting progress of work. With low funding we are forced to cut off some kilometres, meaning we will do less kilometres,” said Msiska.
Treasury spokesperson Alfred Kutengule said he needed more time to consult.
During a tour of the two roads in Mzuzu last Thursday, President Peter Mutharika promised to upgrade all earth roads by 2019, saying he wants to put an end to dusty cities in the country.
He said government will continue to allocate money towards construction of roads in the city so that there is good road network, as one way of fostering development. n