By Kondwani Magombo – Mana.
President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera says the Tonse-led administration will ensure that architects in the country are recognized by involving them in the design and development of the country’s infrastructural projects.
The president made the commitment on Tuesday in Mangochi when he officially opened the Malawi Institute of Architects (MIA) elective Annual General Meeting.
Chakwera, who was also installed by MIA as the second patron after Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda, observed that for decades, the expertise of MIA has been bypassed by many organizations and institutions in favour of cheap substitutes.
“By accepting to be your patron, I am committing my administration to involve this institute in the design and development of our signature infrastructural projects, such as the Judicial Complex to be built across from Parliament; the 20-storey Twin Towers to house a new and fit-for-purpose Office of the President and Cabinet at Capital Hill,” said Chakwera.
Chakwera added that the Tonse-led administration will also engage MIA in the development of procedures for regulating the participation of foreign architects to ensure collaboration and knowledge exchange with local architects and to protect the unique character of Malawi’s architecture.
He, however, urged MIA and the public to resist all temptations and inducements to cut corners and take costly short cuts, adding that he is aware of some unscrupulous players who are in the habit.
“We must return this country to high standards; we must reject mediocrity in all its forms,” he advised.
“I am aware that some industry players with deep pockets have already shaken hands and exchanged cash with some politicians who have promised to let them erect structures where the law does not allow, but that simply cannot be.
“For my part, I have already told the Minister of Lands to see to it that these lawless agreements are not entertained,” Chakwera added.
The Malawi leader marveled at Dr. Kamuzu Banda era architectural standards, saying the past administrations have failed to emulate.
He, therefore, pledged to assist MIA in identifying a place to develop ‘an iconic structure’ that will house the Institute’s secretariat and serve as a visual reminder of the value of the local architects’ skills and expertise.
MIA President, Tione Mughogho, hailed the president saying with his new role as MIA patron, the institution looks forward to seeing most of their challenges addressed, citing such constraints as consistent training and unavailability of resources for the institute’s operations, among others.
Mughogho said the institution is determined to play a crucial role in helping the country realize the third pillar of urbanisation outlined in the MW2063 Vision.