Blantyre City Council slashes maize crops in illegal’ gardens

Some farmers in Ndirande Township in Blantyre on Monday morning were left shocked when they found their maize crops slashed down by Blantyre City Council (BCC) without prior notice.

Council in barbaric destruction of the staple maize crop

A snap check at one of the maize gardens along Ndirande-Goliyo road found farmers with their faces cast down with sympathizers discussing and trying to find answers as to who was behind the move they described as “regrettable”.

“I suspect Blantyre City Council (BCC) are the ones who have done all this, but I fail to understand the reason behind it,” wondered Noriah Banda, one of the victims.

Banda said she had never experienced this before since she started farming along the Ndirande-Goliati road some years back.

Her counterpart, Jessica Mlewa who also had her maize slashed down lamented that what BCC had done was regrettable and shall remember it for the rest of her life. She said this would bring food insecurity in her household.

“This is my land and have been cultivating here for a decade, why slashing my crops now; I heavily invested in it to reach that far. If anything, the council should have notified us so that we could have a round table discussion,” she lamented.

Asked to comment on the matter, BCC’s Public Relations Officer (PRO), Anthony Kasunda confirmed the development, saying it was true the city council was slashing maize crop in the city and not only in Ndirande Township.

“We are doing this because the maize was planted in the road reserves. The fact that people are not supposed to cultivate in road reserves and other fragile areas is known [to every resident] since the council has done awareness on this.

“This is not the first time the council has slashed maize crops; we have done it before,” clarified Kasunda.

On the complaints that BCC could have done this earlier rather than waiting for the maize crops to reach tussling stage, Kasunda said slashing maize crop at a tender stage results in the crop re-growing.

He therefore said the city council was just enforcing its by-laws and that all people that have encroached into the road reserves would be removed to bring sanity in the commercial city.

He stressed that the bylaws do not allow farming in the city.

“It is illegal to go beyond the limit of the road reserves, not only through cultivation but any activity that will compromise the road use,” he added.

Kasunda also highlighted that residents are also not allowed to cultivate along river banks, hills and other fragile areas within the city.

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Ruben kacheche
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Ruben kacheche

If they don’t do anything now they will never do it. wrong place is wrong place. In some cities in the Africa you cant grow crop more that 16 inches tall. Next year these people won’t cultivate on wrong place again. I hope next step will be demolish house built on ilegal land…sanity has to prevail. .Bravo BT City…..Other cities copy this

concerned citizen
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concerned citizen

The city council is doing what is right. No where in the civilized world will you see gardens of maize in the city. Worse, within road reserves. We are always admiring cities of other countries which look nice . This is simply because they have built their cities following laid down plans , enforcing regulations and by-laws. By not following city plans , regulations and not enforcing by-laws, our cities are having a lot of slams with people building anywhere including road reserves . If we want nice looking clean cities , our city councils have to enforce the by-laws… Read more »

Muzandifuna
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Muzandifuna

Sad indeed…. I don’t see any plans that the government will be doing any project on the said land anytime soon. As a matter of fact this so called “road reserves” was designated under UDF some 10 to 15 years ago and nothing has been done since then. Why not let the people use the land until the govt is ready to develop the land 200 years from now…. One this issue I will side with you 777 n Abonzi. I must koyambililako unandiophwatu Abonzi…. Good job coming back around and hit the nail on its head…

Yankho
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Yankho

In as much as I agree that slashing the maize without notice and at this stage when people have invested so much into it is wrong, the council enforcing its bye-laws is whats needed to bring sanity to the way our cities and towns are managed. By the way, the Oxford dictionary defines a road reserve as “an area of land set aside for future road construction, on which building or any other activities is not allowed”. Thus nothing except road construction or related activities are legal within a road reserve. We have just been a country that has not… Read more »

nambewe
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nambewe

KOMA MPAKA KUTCHETCHA CHIMANGA MOMWE KWAVUTILAMU, WHY NOT PUT OTHER STRAREGIES SHAME ON YOU BCC

7777999
Guest
7777999

Kasunda I thought you went to chancellor college???? Maize when slashed does not grow like bluegum tree. No wonder chanco is not among the top 1000 universities.

Abonzi
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Abonzi

Awa ndiye maso mphenya a bwana Profesa Pitala Munthalika. boma lodziwa kukonza zinthu komanso la chitukuko silinga pose pamene. Bwana mwachita ntchito yotamandika ndithu mzinda udzi kongola olo anthu atamagona ndi njala. Mtsogoleri wathu samaoneka podutsa mu nseu. Mpake ena amamulanda envelop ya ndalama

Njati
Guest

They are simply enforcing the law. We can’t continue conduct business that way. We need to became abiding citizens. I hope this will serve as a lesson to many more others who take things for granted.

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