State House has blamed President Lazarus Chakwera’s delay to appoint a Minister of Transport for the slow progress of the Sena Corridor railway line rehabilitation project.
Speaking during the State House Brief on Monday in Lilongwe, Presidential Press Secretary Brian Banda said the absence of the Minister of Transport is affecting the project.
During the briefing, a Journalist noted that Chakwera and Mozambican President Felipe Nyusi met in October last year where they agreed to reconnect Mozambique and Malawi trough the Sena railway line.
Malawi floated tenders last year but there has not been progress construction-wise while Mozambique has already started rehabilitation works.
Responding to the issue, Banda blamed the absence of the Minister in the Ministry of Transport.
“There hasn’t been any minister in the office. There is a deputy minister but some of the things have to be done by the minister,” said Banda.
However, Banda did not mention the dates when Chakwera will appoint the minister but he said the president is committed to the Sena Corridor and wants it done wit speed.
“As soon as the minister is hired, you will see a lot of action in as far as the commitment to the railway line is concerned,” said Banda.
The Ministry of Transport has not had a minister since the death of Sidik Mia in January this year. President Chakwera promised to name a new cabinet in March but later changed his mind.
Ironically, Banda has been defending Chakwera on the delay to name a new cabinet saying it is the president’s prerogative to hire ministers and that there is a cabinet in place.
At a State House Brief on May 24, Banda said Chakwera is aware that there are vacancies in some ministries but in the ministries, there are also principal secretaries and deputy ministers who are capable of carrying out the duties.