Malawi MP ‘Winiko’ stops billboard project from cutting trees: Updated

In a bid to support government’s initiatives of protecting the environment and natural resources, Mulanje South Parliamentarian, Bon Kalindo popularly known as Winiko halted a billboard project that was being erected near the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) in Lilongwe.

Speaking in an interview with Malawi News Agency (Mana) on Wednesday, at the scene, Kalindo said he was very shocked and disappointed to find a gang of men wantonly cutting down trees which according to him are an important resource that adds to natural outlook to the surroundings of City Center and need not be cut like that.

Kalindo at the scene of the cutting down of trees - Pic by Jereemiah Mphande

Kalindo at the scene of the cutting down of trees – Pic by Jereemiah Mphande

Said Kalindo: “As Malawians, we need to be patriotic enough in preserving the natural beauty of the country; it is very sad to see people destroying our natural resources in the name of temporary and commercial structures like billboards”

He said as a concerned citizen, it is very unfortunate to note that Continental Outdoor Media was spearheading the distraction of the environment at the time when government is calling for everyone to support the national cause of reserving nature.

He therefore called on all Malawians to desist from the malpractice of destroying the country’s resources adding that natural trees are the most precious resources that all Malawians should be proud of.

“As a Member of Parliament I find it very useful to take part in the process of protecting the environment regardless of where am coming from because we are all Malawians,” said Kalindo.

In an interview with Nyasa Times,  head of Continental Outdoor Media , Khwesi Msusa said the MP’s action  was clearly done without having full information of the exercise.

“Please note that the exercise being done by Lilongwe City Assembly is cutting down ELEVEN trees that are obstructing some of our billboards and has Continental Outdoor Media planting One Hundred and Ten trees (Ten trees for every One cut down) and making a further donation of Twenty Thousand polythene pockets for growing Twenty Thousand trees that have to be planted within the Lilongwe City,” said Msusa.

Meanwhile Director of Planning and Development at the council Hilary Kamera commended Kalindo for taking up the initiative in stopping the ongoing project because it involved the cutting down of trees

And in an interview Kamera said they are engaged in discussions with the developer to reach an amicable settlement in light of the protestations from Kalindo.

Director of Parks Environment and Recreation, Allan Kwanjana confirmed the development saying that the project has since been put on hold pending discussions with the developer of the billboards.

When pressed for more details, Kwanjana referred Mana to the council’s Public Relations Officer Tamara Chafunya who asked for a questionnaire which had not yet been responded to as we went to press.

Kalindo has been in the news recently propagating for the protection of Mulanje Mountain against environmental degradation through careless cutting down of trees an issue that has left him at loggerheads with the Mulanje Mountain Conservation Trust (MMCT) and other players.

Kalindo therefore called on the council to issue a stern warning on protecting the environment when projects of that nature are taking place.

Jack Masapi a Lilongwe Business guru who joined Kalindo on the scene concurred with Kamera’s remarks and appreciated the gesture taken by the Mulanje South legistrator.

Masapi said, “Any sane person cannot dispute the fact that natural resources add beauty to the surroundings hence the need to protect them at all levels. It is high time that we show the love of nature that our country has.”

He said it is not right and proper for the council to prioritize revenue collection alone without considering the most paramount factors of environmental degradation.

Meanwhile the men who were involved in the cutting down of trees ran away leaving their tools behind while threatening to deal with this reporter as he was preparing his camera to capture them. –Mana/Nyasa Times

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45 thoughts on “Malawi MP ‘Winiko’ stops billboard project from cutting trees: Updated”

  1. katherine says:

    lets love our country and lets be united in conserving nature,i love green

  2. Sage Buddha says:

    While I commend Hon. Winiko for job well done, I also would like to point out that any development has an opportunity cost. That tree will eventually be cut down due to the rapid development taking place in Lilongwe.

  3. Barton Chikaya says:

    Tikati aMalawi timanena, anthu, mitengo, misinje ndi zina zonse zopedzeka umu M’Malawi.Munthu ndiye anayikidwa ndi Mulungu kuti alamulire zonsezi. Tsono tisaononge chilengedwe mwachisawawa aii.Dzithu dzinazonse tikuzionadzi nazonso ndi a Malawi.

  4. Mute Gama says:

    MPs should also take to task these road blocks that allow charcoal and natural firewood pass through after owners pay bribes. And the greatest culprit in deforestation is also the the rail company CEAR. The trains are full of charcoal form Balaka area into Blantyre. This has been happening since time immemorial! Why should the trains be allowed to carry illegal goods like this? Bambo Kalindo werengani demangayi ndithu.

  5. Another winiko says:

    It is true Winiko,

    I do not understand as to who is responsible to stop this.

    I noticed that trees even planted by City Assemblies can carelessly be cut down by civil society. Blantyre City Assembly, Tell me who cut down one of the trees that you planted along the main road in Soche East? After the first hump from St Pius junction towards Living Waters Junction, on your left, the tree City Assembly planted some years back has been fallen.
    Was this done by yourselves? If so for what use? If not who did it. This is worrisome!

  6. Wawaman says:

    Mumachoka Kummwela Kwanuko Ndikumaka Dula Chikangawa .Pano Ndiye Wadziwa Kufunika Kwa Mitengo.Mmaso Mwanu.

  7. Kwanunkwanu says:

    You cannot compensate for a grown up tree with any amount of seedlings or whatever. That is stupidity of Lilongwe City Council and the company that planed this. Simply, you stupid people, don’t cut our trees

  8. Chalaka Bakha nkhuku singatole says:

    Apite akaletsenso ku Nothern Malawi Republic. Atumbuka anawononga mitengo yonse ku Chikangawa. Kudya mitengo yonse kumawona ngati mizimbe

  9. Joisi pa side meeting says:

    Wamisala anaona nkhondo! Winiko should be commended for his patriotism.

  10. Tsotso says:

    Don’t blindfold us, lots of trees have not yet been replaced in Chikangawa, go ahead Winiko go!

  11. walewaley says:

    Its very disheartening to see useless comment from other commentators, it is better to stay put without making comments if your knowledge is limited on that. What Bon Kalindo has done is what every Malawian should strive for, there is no way a company should fell trees and we smile at that, trees are precious gifts that God gave us. To replace one tree takes over 5 years to have half of the same tree. Zandinyansa zi macomments za anthu enawa baaaad.

  12. Winanso says:

    Bon MUST be considered for a membership in the newly launched Beuatify Malawi Trust board.

  13. Kwanunkwathu? says:

    Good job Kalindo, I wish all Malawians were like that

  14. Abiti Mtila says:

    You plant ten trees but who will care for them in the next 20 years? A bird in hand is worthy two in the bush!

  15. Zabwino says:

    Mr. Winiko, I admire your enthusiasm. I am also a staunch supporter of the campaign against deforestation. However, I believe your action here is a bit misplace here because there is a lot of wanton cutting down of trees and bushfires at Chikangawa, Zomba and other places. Let’s join hands to stop this as well. Anyway, the message has been passed Winiko. Keep it up

  16. Malawian says:

    Good gesture but why not go and see the desert being created by people including politicians in Chikangawa? Why are the MPs silent as the forest initiated by Dr. Banda who did not benefit from it but was patriotic not discussing this issue in parliament. Do you know how expensive it is to buy timber now?

  17. The Rich One says:

    thats attention seeking at its best, mukufuna akupatsane unduna apa

  18. Tsamba Likagwa says:

    Hon Bon Kalindo uku ndiye kubwera. In India the road id even diverted to avoid cutting down trees. Small wonder New Delhi is called the greenest city in the world

  19. sello Mvuyane says:

    ka billboard so mkachani, aliyese adzikazilengezetsa pa radio, sizodula mitengozoyi,, timitengo tanu 100 to mwina tidzauma komasdo kuti tikule ndi nthawi , fosteki

  20. sello Mvuyane says:

    more fire Winiko ndipo , ndili pa mbuyo panu chimwene, isaaa dziko likumanyasa ili ukamayenda kopanda mitengo , green yese uja adatha, maka chigawo cha zalewa mpaka ntcheu nde hiii nyasi, ,, pachipezeka anthu 100 onga Winiko bwezi dziko lili lokoma ili

  21. yuona says:

    A Winiko mwachulutsa phuma. I like Mr. Kamela’s comment.

  22. GONANI says:

    That is very responsible of you, Mr Kalinda. You are a good man.

  23. kukukuki says:

    Bravo Winiko come to Blantyre at MCP chichiri offices are just cutting down trees. awa koma azawamenye

  24. Zolokere says:

    To those who have gone to school and have done alboriculture, in towns and cities trees which are visually offensive need to be gotten rid of. I am sure the town planners and those cutting down trees in the cities have enough reasons for doing that. If the trees do not blend well with the environment let alone shielding the bill boards our visitors from outside will not stop wondering whether Malawi has alboriculturalists. The Hon MP shud understand all this instead of just being emotional and attracting public attention. He shud be concerned with heavy degradation of natural resources in his constituency and do something about it.

  25. Imuran says:

    Well done Winiko, ozindikira ndi ochepa pa zomwe mwapanga Olemekezeka.

  26. Achimidzimidzi says:

    Hon. Kalindo are doing town planning for Lilongwe City or Central region??. You think that tree will be there for ever. It looks, is too close to the road.What you have done should be done in the villages where people are making charcoal and nkhokwe. Those trees will go only reserved places can have tree.

    Don’t be showy. You were supposed to talk to the Chief Executive, the Mayor and councillors.

    Maybe your vehicle produces alot of smoke becuase it’s old.

  27. Chilungamo says:

    Haha, Malawians are funny, I am a Malawian in diaspola but am afraid of the action of this boy Bon Kalindo. Most of his actions are not highly thought of and he is myopic. his barbaric actions has just caused an organisation to lose 5billion kwacha funding, other people may rejoice but do you kno how many people will lose their jobs because of that. Mulanje economy has just lost this money in the wake of protecting the environment. My countrymen, development has a cost, its not long to cut the tree so long if the benefit is more than the current benefit of trees. u mean to take headline because of 11 trees. hahaha
    .My Malawi. MMCT plants more than 3 million trees per year and my organisation ever benefited from them. when they donated 1000 trees without a fee. come on, if someone will not stop this guy with his myopic, comedian thinking, our economy will lose alot. vuto lake zinthuzi anthu sazipanga quantify. I think school ndiyabwinodi

    1. Chikopa says:

      Is this English from someone who boasts to be Malawian in diaspora? Hahahaha! Are you cook or gardener? Sorry may be you were jumping from one job to another.

  28. Waiting for Jesus ! says:

    But isnt he one of the people behind , Norways withrawl of funding fir Mulanje Mountain consrvation ?

  29. Sosten Gwengwe says:

    Much as I personally don’t like you and your cheap publicity. Apa pokha wachita bwino. Zoti akanadzala mitengo 110 zo sitingazikhulupilire when money already exchanged hands btwn them and the city officials. Akunama. Komabe Winiko umandibowa kwabasi!

  30. Charter says:

    That is true patriotism Kalindo! It make no sense to cut trees because of a billboard. They could prune, not cut down. No matter how many are being planted, no need to cut down. Business people care for money, nothing else. By the way, trees take from upwards of a quarter century to mature. Are these people going to give a report 25 years later that their planted trees survived?

  31. Mr.Bambo says:

    Koma ndiye matewetu a MP.

  32. Israel Difense Force says:

    za ziiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!!!!!!????

  33. Nyapapi says:

    Winiko akusuta chamba kwambiri! When there is construction going on trees must make way!

  34. Abk says:

    Pajatu jeremiah mphande ndi mmodzi mwa antolankhani ogudwa ndi winiko. bwanji osalemba mmene anyamata ake a winiko akugwetsera mitengo ya pine mphepete mwa phiri la mulanje nkumacheka matabwa mphepete mwa nsewu? mupite mukadzionere nokha ku mulanje, anyamata agulu lake akugwetsa mitengo nkumacheka matabwa usana ndi usiku koma iye osawaletsa ngakhale iye akudziwa. nanga bwanji osaletsa anthu omwe akupopola mitengo ku chikwawa kuno kapena kuthambani nkumaotcha makala?

    1. chikwenga brighton says:

      mitu ya anthu ena imaganiza mwa u pumbwa zedi.mukufuna winiko akafikenso mpaka makwanu kukateteza chilengedwe malo moti inunso kuchikwawa/chikangawa mutengepo mbali? this issues of conservatn shouldnt be winikos alone NO

  35. Paul J.C.Mwafulirwa. says:

    Human beings, left unchecked, are the most destructive species as far as environmental degradation is concerned. If all of us, Malawians, can borrow a leaf from what Hon.Bon Kalinde( Winiko) has done our Lilongwe City’s natural beauty in particural and the country in general will be preserved for future generation. Well done Hon. Bon Kalinde.

    1. Baraba says:

      Especially the human being specie from Malawi in particular is to me the most destructive. I am sure the city authorities were well aware of the trees at the project area but the color of the green buck, which obviously played a part here blinded them. They couldn’t see the trees anymore. Aluvela azatipha ife ndithu!!

  36. Kaweta says:

    Well done Bon. Very encouraging especially coming from Member of Parliament. If all people in Malawi would be patriotic interms of advocating in conserving, protecting & sustainable utilization of natural resources, then we have a good country. But we have left the responsibility to very few people against a population of 15 million. It is not fair at all. The Forestry, Environmental policies & other environmental legistrators are clear on stakeholders involvement. Hope people to emulate from Hon. Kalindo. Thumb up!!!. Confiscate bags of charcoal as well along Zalewa road on your way back home. APM, this is a Minister material for Natural resources, Energy & Mining.

  37. ujeni says:

    Why not go to Chikangawa and other forest reserve. Winiko should have been taken to New York and walk in wall street. Total rubbish and attention seeking by this cartoon of an MP

    1. MW says:

      New York is not all concrete and steel it has some green spaces

      1. clement says:

        central park

    2. Kharupa says:

      i hope u are aware that we are not in New York

  38. Mack Banda says:

    Keep it up Winiko. Lilongwe City Council is headless. The officials see the cutting of these trees which have been protected all this time. All they care is how fat their wallets will be at the expense of destroying the environment. Shame on LCC. The same city council is proudly letting a certain company digging tunnels and putting pipes within the concretised road boundary billboards along M1 road at area 30. That space (from tarmac to concrete billboard) is reserved for road expansion along such roads where the billboards are erected. Shame

  39. Quota system says:

    There is a lot of news about Mulanje and I even fail to get to the bottom of the stories.

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