Lilongwe City Council (LCC) on Wednesday launched the first phase of the government-funded K1.8 billion road upgrading and construction project in the capital city.
Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Kondwani Nankhumwa officially launched the works with an appeal to councillors to such projects regardless of their ward boundaries.
The first phase of the project will cover 6.7 kilometres from Senti Bridge to Chenicheni Nchiti in Area 25 Township, Falls Estate to Area 36 via Phwetekere and Chilinde Parish to Napham in Kawale.
Nankhumwa said increased monitoring at council level could combat delays in the project implementation.
He cited a court injunction one of LCC councillors obtained restraining the council from implementing the project as an example of lack of unity of purpose. He said such moves frustrate progress in implementing development projects.
Said Nankhumwa: “It is sad that a council member, who was available during approval of the roads, obtained an injunction to stop commencement of the project. We should all strive to develop this city and country together irrespective of our political inclinations.”
During a council meeting last month, LCC said it faced a K3.8 billion deficit to complete the project, prompting it to put on hold several road projects lined up for rehabilitation and construction.
In his remarks, LCC mayor Willie Chapondera requested beneficiary communities to guard against theft of construction equipment.
He also appealed to police and courts to ensure those caught in the act are dealt with.
Last year, government allocated funds to the country’s four city councils of Blantyre, Lilongwe, Mzuzu and Zomba to facilitate rehabilitation and construction of some roads within their jurisdiction.