A bridge in Blantyre which is said to have cost K29 million has raised questions among Malawians on social media.
Malawians have cast doubt over the reported cost of the bridge which was opened by Minister of Transport Jappie Mhango.
Social commentator Onjezani Kenani posted a photo of the bridge on his Facebook page, eliciting comments from Malawians.
“A friend says this bridge, which is in Blantyre south-west and cost K29 million to construct, has just been opened by the Minister of Transport. What my friend has found amusing is the large number of officials from the Ministry and also from the Roads Authority who have travelled all the way from Lilongwe to open this bridge. They will claim allowances for a minimum of two nights for opening this bridge. What’s that word again that [Donald] Trump uses to describe countries like ours?” said Kenani on Facebook.
Commenting on the post, a Malawian who claimed to have been in the construction industry for years said the bridge could not cost K29 million.
“I have been in construction for some notable years and this bridge costing 29m …??? Really… #shithole Nation,” he said.
Another commenter suggested that the figure might have been presented incorrectly.
He said: “I think there is a mistake. It must be K2.9 million.”
While one commenter said: “Am a layman in the construction industry but looking at that bridge to cost K29m in the first place doesn’t make sense.”
Other people who commented on the post wondered why government officials from Lilongwe made the 4-hour journey to Blantyre to open a bridge.
“It is sad the [Peter] Mutharika’s administration does not wish Malawians well. Kutsegula bridge mpakana whole capital hill descending to Blantyre?” said a commenter called Waku Balaka Ndine.
While poet Nyamalikiti Nthiwatiwa questioned if there is indeed anything on a bridge that needs opening.
Parliamentarian Juliana Lunguzi suggested that such projects are one of the reasons Malawi is poor.
“And we wake up the next day wondering why we remain poor. Malawi and its people……”Politically motivated projects” is what I call them.”