The Mzuzu City Council will have to dig deeper into its meagre resources to rent a suitable house for its newly elected Mayor because the Council’s official house for the City Father has been tangled in a legal quagmire since 2007.
Alternatively, it will have to pay, the current creditor turned tenant millions of taxpayers’ money to meet its legal obligation.
Nyasa Times investigations has established that the Council has opted for the latter option and will next week pay Mzuzu based controversial businessperson, Joe Nyirongo who trades as ‘Aunt Tina’ a whooping MK7.7 million to ‘evict’ him from the house.
The Council’s director of administration Victor Masina confirmed the development in a telephone interview saying with the coming in of the Mayor and Councillors, the Council had no choice but to settle the house issue for the last time.
“We will pay next week,” Masina said.
Meanwhile the newly elected Mayor, William Mkandawire is staying at his personal house in Mchengautuwa Township.
Nyirongo has been staying at the house, located at Kaning’ina low density, after the Council ‘temporarily’ surrendered the house to him because it wanted to save a MK52,000 weekly bill, which it has been paying to Nyirongo’s polygamous family as lodgings and upkeep.
The Council voluntarily surrendered the house in 2008 following court battles after the Mzuzu Council had sold a house on plot number VE/6/17 at Luwinga Township to Nyirongo at MK100,000.
In 2005, the Mzuzu City Council, acting on wrong legal advice, put under the hammer various properties whose owners had defaulted in paying city rates.
However, property owners fought back asking the High Court in Mzuzu to declare the Council’s decision as invalid because there were no Councillors.
The High Court then ordered the Council to return the house to the original owner arguing that the Council had sold it illegally because it was not lawfully constituted, as a local government authority hence could not exercise any powers conferred by law.
The Court said the Council contravened section 147 (1) (2) (3) of the constitution, section 5, 10 and 11 of the Local Government Act.
When Nyirongo was dispossessed of the house, he then sued the City claiming the market price of the house.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :