UTM Party presidential candidate Saulos Chilima on Sunday promised to give Zomba City a facelift if elected into power in the May 21 Tripartite Elections.
Capping a series of whistle stop rallies at Mponda Primary School ground in the city, Chilima, who is also the country’s Vice-President, said the city ‘s historical importance should be preserved.
He said: “When we get into power, we will ensure that we develop this city to a level where everyone would agree that it is a city. UTM government will make sure that the city has infrastructure worth its name.
“By developing tourism for the Zomba Mountain, increasing investment in rice irrigation and fish farming we will give Zomba a big economic boost that would spur more socioeconomic development.”
Zomba was stripped of its capital status in 1975 when the capital was moved to Lilongwe and became a municipality in 1979.
It became a university town, housing the University of Malawi (Unima) central administration and Chancellor College (Chanco), its constituent college, before being granted a city status on March 9 2008.
Chilima, therefore, asked the people to vote for the party’s representatives to enable it fulfill its agenda for the city.
Before Chilima rose to the podium, UTM Party member Jessie Kabwila, a former Chanco lecturer, said the party was ready to grant the academia what she termed as unlimited academic freedom.
“UTM Party has people that understand the importance of academic freedom. Therefore, we need people’s support to consolidate these gains,” she said.
The battle for academic freedom took centre stage in 2011 when Chanco was closed for nine months following staff protests against police intimidation.
During the rally, Chilima asked people to observe a minute of silence in honour of fallen freedom fighters whom he said had paved the way for the country’s development which was being hindered by poor governance.