The Blantyre City Council (BCC) is waiting for the determination of the High Court on the injunction 54 property owners had obtained restraining the council from enforcing demolition of earmarked buildings under the much-touted Red Star Campaign.
BCC last year set 31st March, 2016 as a deadline for owners of earmarked buildings to either start demolishing or renovating their property. About 161 buildings have been earmarked for demolition in central business districts of Limbe and Blantyre.
BCC Public Relations Manager, Anthony Kasunda told Nyasa Times the council is currently waiting for the court’s determination on the issue.
“We are on course with the campaign. The court case is at judgment level. We are waiting for a date when the court will deliver its determination,” explained Kasunda.
“As far as the Court case is concerned, the Council made its submissions and we await judgment”.
Kasunda said, despite the court order, the Red Star Campaign committee was cooperating fully with developers that presented their plans of action, and are interested in seeing the city refurbished
to modern and international standards.
“You may wish to recall that only 54 developers are part of the court order. Otherwise, some have demolished while others are presenting plans of actions. We are grateful to them because
they would want to be part of the transformation of Blantyre City”.
It has been revealed that BCC will not extend the deadline as it continues to work within the
framework drawn at the beginning of the campaign.
“There is progress on the ground. I do not think people expect 162 plus buildings to be demolished at the same time. The implementation will be staggered to make sure economic activities are
not disturbed in the City and also we don’t create a war zone situation,” added Kasunda.
He said the staggering of the campaign would come about based on that not all buildings that have been earmarked for demolition pose danger to the lives of users as others are a result of being aesthetically poor to be in the city.
“The council will decide which ones will go first. The Council would also want not to stifle business operations in the city as such systematic staggering has to be adopted to make sure there
activity in each and every street, but also how close the affected buildings are. The council is of the opinion that it can only be practical to work on buildings that are neighboring each other so that
construction is also taking shape at the same time”.
President Peter Mutharika in February last year inaugurated the Red Star Campaign that would see some buildings in Blantyre City being pulled down completely and others being renovated in a bid to make the city beautiful and meet international standards.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :