President Arthur Peter Mutharika Tuesday opened the newly rehabilitated Mzuzu-Nkhata Bay Road which chiefs of Nkhata Bay District have proposed that it should be called Arthur Peter Mutharika Highway.
Speaking at Masamba Community ground at Mpamba Trading Centre in Traditional Authority (TA) Timbiri, Mutharika hailed the contractor Strabag International for constructing the “magnificent” road.
The President said road improvement and efficient transportation system is important for the country’s economic development.
He said his government is committed to improving road infrastructure in the country to stimulate economic development.
Mutharika said a total of 17 roads are under construction countrywide which are at various stages.
“Currently, government is constructing both rural and urban roads. Some of the roads under construction include Lilongwe-Kasiya-Santhe, Zomba-Jale-Chitakale and Liwonde-Mangochi.
“In the North, we have Karonga-Songwe, Njakwa-Livingstonia and Jenda-Edingeni. On Thursday, I will lay foundation stone for Bolero-Nyika-Chitipa Road,” Mutharika said.
During the function, TA Timbiri said chiefs in the district proposed that the road be dubbed ‘Arthur Peter Mutharika Highway’, a suggestion the President accepted.
“I had my own name to give to the road but since you have come up with your own proposal, I will reserve mine for another new road,” Mutharika said.
The 46 km Mzuzu-Nkhata Bay Road starts from Mzuzu City at the court house roundabout to Nkhata Bay Jetty on Lake Malawi.
It is part of the M05 road that runs from Mzuzu through Nkhata Bay, Dwangwa, Nkhotakota, Salima and ends at a junction with M01 road at Balaka Market.
Construction works started from July 1, 2016 to June 23, 2018 to the tune of over K16, 7 billion, a loan from the African Development Bank (AfDB) and financial contributions from the Malawi Government.
AfDB country representative Frank Mvula said the institution attaches great importance to road infrastructure development as it is the driver of economic growth.
Mvula asked government to ensure that the road is maintained from time to time for it to be durable.
After cutting a ribbon and unveiling a plaque at Mpamba Trading Centre to mark the official opening of the road, the President proceeded to Nkhata Bay Boma to inspect the newly constructed jetty.
The road is part of Mtwara Development Corridor which links Malawi and Zambia to Mtwara Port in Tanzania on the Indian Ocean through Mbamba Bay and Nkhata Bay on the shores of Lake Malawi.
Meanwhile, the contractor Strabag International has embarked on construction of dual carriage way from the Mzuzu Court House roundabout to Katoto roundabout in the city.