Blantyre City Council punished for DPP debts

Blantyre Water Board (BWB) and Electricity Supply Commission of Malawi (ESCOM) have disconnected water and power supply respectively at the official residence of the Blantyre City Council’s Chief Executive Officer.

The residence is on plot number BW 262 situated at the uptown location of Sunnyside in Blantyre and was previously occupied by the former ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) as its Southern Region head office.

Nyasa Timesinvestigations indicate that the two utility bodies severed their connections to the house last month because of unsettled huge bills left by the DPP.

Masangwi: DPP regional committee using Blantyre City Council facilities

A copy of a disconnection slip in Nyasa Times possession indicates that BWB disconnected supply to the house due to non payment of a K120 704.60 bill on account number 10109610 which was accumulated between the period April 2009 to April 2012.

A visit to the house revealed that BWB also removed the pipes and uprooted its meter.

Nyasa Times can further reveal that ESCOM disconnected power because of an outstanding bill of about K299 000 accrued in 36 months.

The former ruling party grabbed the council house through political force in March 2009 and entered on 1st April same year but according to records, during its entire occupancy it never paid bills including rentals.

As if that is not enough, the DPP also owes the council K1 080 000 in rental arrears which it purposely defaulted when it’s funding leader and Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika was still in power.

The city council pegged the house at K30 000 per month payable in advance every six months.

However, the water and electricity bills are in the name of Karcher, a private company owned by a Mr Kamthunzi that occupied the house before the DPP snatched it.

“Karcher was the tenant when the DPP politburo directed the council to evict the company so that they occupy it. But at the time the company was moving out in March 2009 all the bills had been cleared.

“Actually, by the time DPP ordered the council to throw Karcher out of the house, the company had already paid rentals in advance. So BCC had no choice but to please its master and instead gave Karcher another office space inside the Old Town Hall [monument],” explained our source at BCC.

Efforts to get comment from the DPP Secretary General Wakuda Kamanga proved futile during the week. Southern Region Governor Noel Masangwi declined to comment.

But Blantyre City Council Public Relations Manager Lunzana Khanga told Nyasa Times her office already asked the party to pay the rental arrears together with outstanding bills.

She said the council will settle the outstanding water and electricity bills for the party and in turn the DPP will remit to the council.

The former ruling party voluntarily moved out of the house at the end of April 2012 following the death of its leader Mutharika.

Interestingly, the BWB and ESCOM made the disconnections after the party had moved out.

However, despite vacating the house and handing over the keys Nyasa Times has discovered that the DPP regional secretariat  and Masangwi are  still using the compound to hold meetings and its insignia remains intact at the main entrance.

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