The Malawi Institution of Engineers (MIE) has asked the newly inaugurated government of President Joyce Banda not to abandon infrastructural projects initiated during the time of her predecessor late Bingu wa Mutharika.
MIE president Dr Matthews Mtumbuka said most of the projects under the government of Mutharika, who was an honorary fellow of MIE since 2006, are important and critical to the growth of the engineering profession in Malawi.
“There have been a lot of infrastructural developments and engineering works taking place in Malawi. We feel saddened by his death. We hope the good programmes will continue,” said Mtumbuka.
He cited projects such as construction of roads, schools, hospitals, the Nsanje World Inland Port which is part of the Shire Zambezi Waterway, mining works [at Paladin, Kanyika in Mzimba and Songwe in Phalombe], oil exploration on Lake Malawi and the Malawi University of Science and Technology (Must) at Ndata Farm in Thyolo.
He also pleaded with the new government to also put much focus on power generation, saying Malawians are tired of intermittent power outages.
“We [as engineers] know what is causing the problem at Escom [Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi]. No one should blame the engineers on this. We have the finest engineers who know their job at Escom,” he said.
Mtumbuka said Malawi is 18 years behind to add new megawatts to the power grid, stressing that the last time the country did that was in 2000 when it added 64 megawatts at Kapichira Hydro Power Scheme.
Meanwhile, the Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) hopes that with the change of guard at State House, ministers will now have authority and mandate to make timely decisions and ensure that the Public Private Dialogue (PPD) process succeeds.
“The MCCCI tirelessly engaged various authorities, including the Minister of Finance and Development Planning and the Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Environment to deal with issues [of concern to businesses], mostly without tangible results because of entrenched positions adopted by the authorities. The Public Private Dialogue almost broke down. First, there were no progress to report by minister at subsequent meetings due to highly centralised decision making,” said MCCCI president Matthews Chikankheni on Friday in Blantyre.