Mzuzu City residents are now digging deeper into their pockets to finance the construction of a 10.4-kilometre (km) Luwinga-Mzuzu Government bypass road.
The road connects Mzuzu-Mzimba and Mzuzu-Nkhata Bay roads.
The development follows the delay to complete the K5.6 billion road project as only 2 km has been bituminised, two years after construction works started.
This rainy season, the residents claim to have spent over K1 million to buy materials for the road when it was cut off in some parts.
Fed up with the situation, concerned residents from Zolozolo West and Botanic Newlines on Friday petitioned government through Mzuzu City mayor to expedite the project.
A resident, Ronaz Nkhata said the road gets cut off during the rainy season, making it impassable.
“It is hard for pregnant women and patients to connect to Mzuzu Central Hospital from Zolozolo Health Centre. As a result, some pregnant women deliver babies en-route to the referral hospital,” she said.
The group’s chairperson Paul Mvula asked why they should repair the road when they pay tax.
“In 2020 alone, residents of Zolozolo West spent over K1 million on road repairs when the road was cut off. As taxpayers, just like our colleagues in other cities, we deserve better,” he said.
The city’s mayor Kondwani Nyasulu, who received the petition, said the project has delayed due to lack of funds.
“The money comes in small portions and the people’s complaints are genuine,” he said.
The project is part of the City Roads Development Project financed by Roads Fund Administration.