Minister of Transport and Public Works, Jacob Hara, has expressed concern over neglected Chilumba Jetty in Karonga which he said has potential to save funds through water and rail transportation of fuel and facilitating economic activities between Malawi and Tanzania.
Speaking Tuesday when he toured facilities of the jetty, Hara said it is disheartening to learn that the jetty was forced out of business by few selfish politicians who opted for road transport to serve their interests.
“What we are seeing here is very pathetic. Government had invested a lot of money on this facility, but because of political reasons, the system was abandoned for road transport, which is very expensive,” said Hara.
The minister has since said government will construct a rail line from Mbeya in Tanzania to Chilumba Jetty where goods will further be distributed to different parts of the country.
“There is already a line from Dar es Salaam l to Mbeya in Tanzania and our goods from here will be transported through water transport to Chipoka where there are already existing rail lines connected to Lilongwe and Limbe in Blantyre,” he said.
He said containers of goods are imported from other parts of the country at a reasonable cost, but escalates from Dar es Salaam to Malawi because of road transportation.
Spokesperson for Mota Engil whose subsidiary company, Malawi Ports Company manages ports in the country, Thomas Chafunya said the Minister’s visit has brought hope for revival of the jetty.
He said that the cargo port at Chilumba has a great impact in turning around the economic status of the country.
Reported by Zenak Matekenya