The Finance Committee of the Blantyre City Council (BCC) last week passed a resolution to sell a Council’s house in Sunny Side in which was meant to house the Chief Executive Officer to the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) who have been using it as its southern regional headquarters, Nyasa Times can reveal.
One of the councillor’s sitting in the finance committee revealed that the Finance Committee, which is dominated by DPP councillors, approved the proposal put forward by the acting CEO Dr. Alfred Chaza that the house be sold to the governing party in what is seen by many council employees who are privy to the matter, as a ploy to seek sympathy from government to approve him as a permanent CEO.
“I can confirm that the committee led by Councillor George Chipwete has approved that the CEO’s house which is in upper town suburb of Sunny Side be sold to the ruling DPP at an undisclosed amount,” said a Councillor who opted for anonymity.
In an interview the Council’s Public Relations Manager Anthony Kasunda confirmed but downplayed the matter saying that since the councillors were elected, the Council’s Secretariat does not make decisions on its own and said the decision was made by the councillors.
“As provided for in the Local Government Act, the council as a legal entity has a right to acquire or dispose of its property. The Council decided to sell the property in question because it is not in a habitable condition. In fact, the last CEO to occupy the property was late Don Alufandika some 20 years ago. The sitting tenant (DPP) expressed interest to purchase the property and the Council has made an offer,” said Kasunda.
Kasunda further said that because of the state in which the property has been for the past 20 years no CEO has lived in the house, a fact which has been proved false by sources who claim that Ted Nandolo had been staying in the house but was pressurized by DPP to move out so that the party can occupy it.
Sources within BCC said that DPP occupied the house during the reign of former president late Bingu wa Mutharika but paid no rentals to the council which was pegged at a meagre K30, 000 per month and yet houses of the same class attract rentals in excess of K100, 000 per month.
“Until Bingu’s death, the party never paid a single penny and to make matters worse the house was vandalized by the occupants (DPP) and the Council had to shoulder the renovation bill which was in excess of K4million. After a month of Bingu’s demise, the People’s Party (PP) moved in and occupied as its headquarters,” said the source.
The source further said when PP lost power in the 2014 elections, DPP moved in again as its regional headquarters and has never paid any rentals since it retook the house and yet the Council has been footing the utility bills like water, electricity and even providing security.
“The council never had any intention of selling the house and had no land to construct another house for the CEO or the Mayor who are residing in rented houses whose bill is footed by the council at a very exorbitant price. The main reason behind the sale is the Acting CEO who wants to appease the government so that he should be confirmed as CEO,” said the source.
Dr. Alfred Chanza has for the last year or so been acting CEO after his predecessor Ted Nandolo fell out of grace with former Local government minister Tarcizio Gowelo and ever since he took the mantle he has been making ‘funny decisions’ just to appease the DPP and its influential councilors like militant Louis Ngalande, Makwinja and Chinthulo.
BCC is not alone in disposing its properties to ruling parties at any given time since Lilongwe City Council also disposed its Area 12 Mayoral Residence to DPP during Bingu’s reign and the current mayor for the city is living in a rented house in Area 47 which is very expensive and draining the councils already meager resources at the expense of the much needed social service to its residents like disposal of waste which is an eye sore in the Capital City.
LCC also sold another house to Bingu in Area 3 which houses Galaxy FM.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :