Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) member of Parliament Francis Phiso has asked the Tonse Alliance administration to name the Area 18 Interchange after former president Peter Mutharika.
The Blantyre North legislator asked Minister of Transport and Public Works Mohammed Sidik Mia in Parliament on Thursday during question time as to when government would name the section after Mutharika.
In an interview later, Phiso stressed that the country should honour Mutharika by naming the interchange after him.
He said Mutharika embarked on a number of projects to develop the country and his role cannot go unappreciated.
Said Phiso: “The interchange has changed the face of Lilongwe as the project is the first of its kind in the country.
“It is our culture that when someone has done something good, we should thank them. So, we need to thank the former president by naming the project after him.”
He said there are structures named after former presidents Hastings Kamuzu Banda, Bakili Muluzi and Binguwa Mutharika.
Reacting to Phiso’s question, Mia said it was not within his mandate to name the interchange.
He said it was President Lazarus Chakwera’s prerogative to name after anyone else.
University of Livingstonia political scientist George Phiri said there is nothing wrong with naming the structure after Mutharika as the project started during his reign.
He said naming big structures after someone that initiated them would motivate their successors to do even better projects.
“In turn, it will foster development. However, such projects should not be politicised. Even if it is not named after Mutharika, I don’t think he would complain,” said Phiri.
Mutharika emphasised on improving the road network in urban and rural areas for the country to develop.
He used to say there was need for a good network to ease transportation, but also open up rural areas which drive the economy of the country. During his reign, the country saw the construction of the Area 18 Interchange, Nkhata Bay-Mzuzu Road, Karonga-Songwe Road, the Presidential Drive in Lilongwe and several roads.