Chakwera learns Kumbali Lodge arson costs over K375m: Job losses to affect communities

President Lazarus Chakwera on Wednesday visited Kumbali Lodge in Lilongwe and learnt that preliminary estimates indicate that property worth over $500,000 (over K375 million) was lost after the torching of facilities at the premises and that besides workers risking job cuts, the arson will negatively affect early childhood development in the area.

Chakwera  visiting Kumbali Lodge in Lilongwe.
Chakwera having discussion with owners of  Kumbali Lodge in Lilongwe.
Chakwera listening to management of Kumbali Lodge in Lilongwe.

Part of Kumbali Lodge in in Lilongwe’s Area 44 and some cars belonging to the lodge including a nursery school that was built within the compound were set ablaze in the early hours of Sunday by a mob of villagers living in surrounding area who ae claiming part of the land that belongs to the lodge.

Some residents had allegedly encroached the area under the lodge and torched building and cars at the lodge after their structures were demolished.

The encroachers, who were allegedly selling land to other developers, were ordered by the court to vacate the area, but they resisted until they were evicted by force.

Chakwera visited the lodge and said it was “unfortunate incident” that the land dispute ended in arson.

The President said his administration will not tolerate lawless in the country.

“Investors will be safe here, their investors will be safe and we will make sure whoever partners with investors they are safe.

“What we are against is lawlessness, we are against corruption , we are against people using other people for their own gains ,” said the Malawi leader to reporters.

Kumbali Lodge executive director Guy Pickering said the damage is estimated at K350 million, with a further loss of revenue expected over the festive season.

A Europe-based couple who had booked to spend their eighth wedding anniversary at the hotel, were shocked to discover that it had been damaged by communities

“We planned to enjoy a week here and we are so disappointed,” they said.

Guests who had booked to stay at the lodge would have to be redirected to other hotels as they embark on renovations.

Guy said the arson would also inconvenience their regular clients including US pop queen Madonna and it would also mean the cancellation of bookings that had already been made.

He also said the nursery school which was benefiting about 80 children will be affected.

“Early childhood development is key to a child. It will take time to renovate the nursery school since income generation has been affected,” he said.

Guy said the lodge will have lay off some workers.

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Dr.
Dr.
9 months ago

The people need to be heard also. Pali utsi pali moto. How was the land acquired? Make a good investigation. The people have a point here.

Last edited 9 months ago by Dr.
Bauleni
Bauleni
9 months ago

Chakwera started lawlessness. Malawians are hard wired now. It will be hard to stop people from demonstrations and civil disobedience . Hrdc and Tonse championed this. Muwona kuti mutani. But do not dare shoot anyone.

G Phiri
G Phiri
9 months ago

A investor as well as an employer of 300+ Malawians, yet a few Malawians damaged the premises and vehicles because they wished to steal his land and some were caught. Why is it that both Deputy Minister of Lands and the President is not suggesting compensation or means to fence the land completely from Encroachers, Police Enforcement, Education of locals and Army Engineers to assist in rebuilding. Just Papani, so sorry not accepting any responsibility on behalf of Malawi Citizens. Yet Mulli Brothers received 11 Billion because of damage caused by demonstrations that happened 10 years ago. A good Christian… Read more »

phade
phade
9 months ago

eti? the president needed to visit his people too and hear the extent of damage the lodge caused to them

Keen Observer
Keen Observer
9 months ago

My gut feeling tells me that the President has goofed on this one. We can’t condone violence in any way BUT in most cases it becomes the only language that the dormant governments understand. Chakwera was supposed to meet the leaders of those villagers & hear their grievances, there after he could go to those white folks. Chakwera was voted by indigenous Malawians. He must not forget that. Investments yes BUT that must be balanced. A Lodge, how many people does it employ? And how many people have been affected by being removed from the land? Vuto la Katangale ndilimeneli.… Read more »

Itsanana
Itsanana
9 months ago
Reply to  Keen Observer

You must really be stupid. When did it become the president’s responsibility to resolve land issues? We have chiefs, the Police, the city council and the courts. Jeez! The president doesn’t solve land issues! After all there’s the Ministry of Lands other than the president!

Whiplash
Whiplash
9 months ago
Reply to  Keen Observer

Did you not read that THE COURTS ISSUED A VACATION NOTICE TO THE VILLAGERS so by this it means that the owner followed the process by going to the courts yet its the villagers that broke the law and you expect the president to ask criminals and arsonist. This the problem with online news articles we don’t read the story or news outlets don’t realy it out properly. They should have included that the vacation order was issued by a Malawian Court and if the Malawian village was not happy they could have appealed to a higher court and i… Read more »

Bentby from Chigunda Dwangwa

Thanks H.E dr chakwera for the step taken to rectify this misconduct. please use this case to send warning to those people who attack investors and use this case to send positive message to potential upcoming investors about their security and security of their investment

Msonkho
Msonkho
9 months ago

Thank you for quantifying the extent of the damage. Immaterial to say the physical and psychological damage to the so called encroachers has not been quantified. Not justifying the arson but for the villagers to reach the limit of setting fire it means their side of the story was being ignored. And it would have made sense if the puppet president visited first or both the village and the lodge, but this spineless action by a whole state president its clear to see whom his masters are

The Truth
The Truth
9 months ago
Reply to  Msonkho

Did you not read the land issue was settled by the High Court? The villagers had no right to the land at all, the court has clearly stated. So if they cannot accept the court ruling, they should kindly Fuck Off elsewhere. Rule of Law is what brought the new Government in. If the Law was good enough to reverse the elections its credible enough to rule on this land issue. The villagers must respect the Law and the Court Orders.

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