BT City Council CEO illegally gives building to relative

Self-acclaimed untouchable Chief Executive Officer for Blantyre City Council (BCC), Emmanuel Ted Nandolo, continues with his boundless plundering and destruction of the council’s assets as authorities deliberately keep on giving a blind eye.

Since his arrival at BCC from Council for Non Government Organisations (CONGOMA), three years ago, Nandolo has been absorbed in massive asset stripping of the council’s resources alongside his accomplice, Alfred Chanza, the Director of Administration.

Several comprehensible cases involving Nandolo and Chanza, some of which are in the folders of the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB), the Ministries of Finance (Treasury) and Local Government, have been exposed by the media.

Among others, the major cases include unexplained K40 million plus for the Local Development Fund, illegal selling of plots, offering of contracts to friends and relatives without following procedures, employing relatives and friends in positions that can only be mandated by the Local Government Service Commission.

The restaurant under renovation.
The restaurant under renovation.
The bar section under rehabilitation
The bar section under rehabilitation
A new structure being constructed.
A new structure being constructed.
A renovated toilet- Photos by Felie Mzumara, Nyasa Times
A renovated toilet- Photos by Felie Mzumara, Nyasa Times
Nandolo: Accused of abuse of office
Nandolo: Accused of abuse of office

He is also accused of  siphoning of millions of kwacha through dubious allowances –an issue that got the Lilongwe City Council Chief Executive Officer Kelvin Mmangisa arrested in July last year and is currently answering to corruption charges.

But in a latest incident, Nyasa Times can reveal that the BCC boss has illegally given the council’s buildings to a business lady, who is his wife’s relation, to operate a restaurant and a beer nightclub.

The structures are located right inside the city council ‘s Mandala Plantation area opposite the College of Medicine.

Mandala Nursery Plantation is a place where the city council breeds flowers, fruits and other trees for sale and decorations during public functions.

The lady whom we have only managed to establish her first name, Catherine, is currently finalising refurbishment of the structures to fit her taste of the business.

Nyasa Times this week uncovered some sad stories about how the nursery plantation has been ‘hijacked’ by Nandolo’s relative.

According to the council’s gardeners Nyasa Times found at the site, the place (given to Catherine) has for several years been used as a manure shelter until November last year when they (gardeners) were ordered to remove all the manure and stop operating the place as such.

“We were ordered by Mr. Mitini Nkhoma, who is the Director of Parks, Environment and Leisure to remove all the manure and transfer them to a different place.

“A few days later we saw our Chief Executive Officer, the director himself and unknown young lady inspecting the place and the structures around.

“After that they used to come almost every day for about a week before we saw the lady bringing building materials and workforce,” explained one gardener whose name we have shielded for security reasons.”

The gardener also revealed that other than the manure shelter, an office belonging to a zone inspector for the council has also being given to the woman.

“Our foreman has also been vacated from his office which has now been turned into stores office for the business lady while another officer has been transferred to Limbe just to pave way for more space for the lady,” he continued.

Worsening the situation, Nyasa Times can also make public that the council, which is failing to collect garbage in the city’s locations because of resources, is even providing security 24 hours to protect materials used by the lady in the refurbishment of the buildings.

The guards are outsourced by various security guard firms within Blantyre and each month BCC pays out over K3 million to the companies for all security services provided to the council’s various places.

“The business lady is receiving VIP treatment one cannot imagine,” said another while shaking his head.

However, Nyasa Times crew was stunned upon learning that the business lady has also seized all the toilets at the nursery plantation that council workers are now being forced to relieve themselves within the plantation’s flowering shrub.

“We were barred from using the toilets and the shrubs over there have now turned into our toilet, it’s really pathetic and there is no rationale to continue working at this place,” said the free-speaking gardener.

Nyasa Times confirmed the claims and further found out that the toilets have been demarcated to two- the other side is for high profile customers while the other has been reserved for non-graded ones, according to a builder working on the site.

In another interview, an officer at the council’s Town Planning Department at the civic centre, revealed that no change of ownership of the place or land use had gone through the department for approval, as such, the business and the new building were illegal and subject to demolition.

“When we got the news we went there to inspect and we discovered that whatever was happening at the site was all illegal. We planned for demolition and the necessary sections [enforcement and security] were advised accordingly but the operation cannot be carried out because our chief executive is involved and none would want to be seen as if he or she is against him,” he explained.

But the officer confided in Nyasa Times that the chief executive is planning to eventually sell part of the yard to the business lady.

“We have classified information to the effect that plans are already underway to subdivide the land and eventually sell the lady the part she has already been given before the contract for the chief executive expires next year,” he revealed.

He said his colleagues from the commercial department disclosed to him that initially Catherine wrote the chief executive applying for a space to run her restaurant elsewhere.

But instead the CEO ordered the Director of Commerce, Dennis Chimseu, to give her a place within the nursery plantation campus.

“The nursery plantation is a restricted place because there are council’s offices and nursery and by all means the place cannot be let out. Actually, it has never happened in the history of BCC,” he observed.

Nandolo and Chanza are also behind the letting out of three toilets at Blantyre market to a business man who runs private toilet and shower business.

However, the man only pays to the council a meager K10 000 per month yet BCC is also responsible for paying all the utilities (electricity, water, security, cleaning of the toilets) spending over K30 000 every month for the let out place.

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