Government has come under heavy criticism for skipping out Mzuzu in the intended implementation of the National Fibre Backbone Project.
The Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe on Tuesday morning moved a motion under Bill Number 31 of 2016 seeking Parliament approval and authorisation to lend K16.5 billion from Export and Import Bank of China.
Gondwe said the loan will enable government enhance and improve internet connectivity by connecting the services to the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom).
The minister emphasised that enhancement and improvement of internet connectivity will translate into improved service delivery in public offices.
However, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) spokesperson on finance Alexander Kusamba-Dzonzi (Dowa West), whilst concurring with Gondwe on the importance of the proposed project, stated that it was unfair for government to borrow money whose project segregates a certain section of the country.
Said Kusamba-Dzonzi: “There’s a belief that services in strategic government offices will improve if the House passes this Bill.
“But of importance to MCP is to know why Mzuzu has been left out. You cannot just pick other places (Blantyre, Zomba and Lilongwe) and forget Mzuzu, which is a capital city for the Northern Region.”
Gondwe assured the House that government will see how best it can address the anomaly.
However, this did not convince Kusamba-Dzonzi who vowed in an interview outside the House that the Opposition will continue fighting until Mzuzu is included in the project.
He said the Opposition, particularly the MCP, is worried that people in the Northern Region will be denied the enjoyment of accessible and fast internet services if government goes ahead to implement the project without including Mzuzu.