The financially cleaned and scandalous Blantyre City Council (BCC) has controversially lost ownership of the historical Njamba Freedom Park in Blantyre to fellow land managers Malawi Housing Corporation (MHC), Nyasa Times can reveal.
A highly placed source at MHC confirmed to Nyasa Times that they have indeed ‘snatched’ the historical piece of land due to failure by the council to pay ground rentals, improper use as well as absolute negligence.
Further, our investigations have revealed that MHC has gone into a partnership with an undisclosed Chinese Consortium to construct a state-of-the-art multi-million dollar shopping mall.
“I can confirm that Njamba Freedom Park is now under the management of Malawi Housing Corporation. We grabbed it back because the council never pays ground rentals for the park in addition to failure to put it to proper use,” said the source on condition of anonymity.
He was, however, noncommittal on whether or not MHC has indeed partner with a Chinese Consortium to turn the park into a shopping mall.
On a visit to the park this week, Nyasa Times found several casual labourers cutting shrubs and slashing the tall grass that has covered almost the entire square to bring a fresh aroma to the area.
According to the workers, they have been ‘cleaning’ the recreational area for the last two weeks in readiness for the construction work.
BCC Public Relations Manager Lunzana Khanga could not pick up her mobile phone while the land lines at her office also kept on calling when Nyasa Times wanted to get the council’s stand.
But a source at the widely exposed BCC confirmed that MHC wrote them a letter indicating their intentions to grab the park back which management never bothered to respond to forcing it (MHC) to go ahead with its work.
“I don’t have latest information but it all boils down to the council’s lack of vision and corrupt minds of the management which has embarked on selling almost all structures for their own benefits. If the council’s management was farsighted it could have realised that Njamba Park was gold,” he said.
He added: “I can assure you that someone has benefited from this as individuals, otherwise management could have contested the matter after all MHC also owes the council millions in city rates.”
Despite MHC claims that BCC neglects the park, Nyasa Times has discovered that every year the council has in its budget millions of kwachas meant for the rehabilitation of parks with Njamba getting priority.
But this is not the case, as over the years, Nyasa Times can confidently report, the park has promoted immorality among youths particularly school going and house wives as the thick bush has turned into illegal sex-domicile.
Previously, the park used to be heavily patronised by students who went there to study and conduct school discussions but with the opening of a well-managed and protected park with proper facilities by MHC just across the road, Njamba Park has been abandoned and turned into a sex haven.
Njamba Park got the middle name of Freedom because it is believed the park assisted in transforming Malawi politics (from one party to multiparty) following the major interdenominational prayers held there to pray for the country’s change as well as the first ever major political rally to be organized by the pro-democracy campaigners which also took place at the park.
The Njamba ark is also historical because it hosted the late former head of the Catholic Church in the world, Pope John 11, during his first ever visit to Malawi in 1989.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :