A probe into questionable sale of houses on auction is underway at the Lilongwe District Council Malawi’s capital after reports unraveled that 18 middle class and aristocratic houses were sold for less than K20 million, Nyasa Times has learnt.
A battalion of incumbent and ex-officials at the council were reportedly some of the beneficiaries, a situation which the council’s chairperson Samson Chaziya described as “anomalous.”
Chaziya, who made the revelation following a finance committee meeting this week, said that the houses were not only auctioned using irregular procedures, but also sold at unbelievably low prices.
He said the council has since embarked on a campaign to reclaim the houses.
“We want to reclaim the houses because they were not sold using the right procedures,” he said.
A Nyasa Times source present at the finance committee meeting who refused to be named said that good houses in the country’s most expensive city – according to Centre for Social Concern – were being sold at as low as less than a million kwacha each.
“How can eighteen houses in a city like Lilongwe be sold for not more than K20 million?” wondered our source.
According to information Nyasa Times sourced from some estate agents advertising in the local papers, the lowest most middle class houses can go is between nine to ten million kwacha.
Chaziya was unsure whether they would seek the hand of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), the national corruption busting body yet.
“We’ve not yet made a decision as regards that,” he said. “But it should not be ruled out.”
One of the beneficiaries, Felix Mkandawire – a former District Commissioner (DC) – denied having any knowledge on whether fishy dealings transpired during the auctioning process.
Mkandawire, now DC in Nkhotakota, got himself a house in Area 47 – also reported to have been sold at a questionable cheap price.
“When I arrived at the council, the process of auctioning the houses was ongoing for the past two years. I do not have much knowledge,” Mkandawire told Zodiak Radio.
Other houses auctioned dubiously were those the council owned in the townships of Falls and Kawale.
The council’s new DC Charles Makanga refused to comment on the matter, saying he was only “two weeks in office.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :