The Blantyre City Council (BCC) and the Malawi Police Service (MPS) have warned people against buying and encroaching prohibited land, saying illegal settlements and poorly built
structures negatively impact on the council’s initial plans.
The country’s security agency also condemned chiefs in major cities for selling pieces of lands to people behind the councils’ back or without involving relevant authorities.
Speaking on Tuesday during MPS TV programme called ‘Tikhale Tcheru’ on MBC-TV, Malawi Police Service Deputy Commissioner—responsible for Blantyre Urban—Foster Mangani said all piece of lands in commercial capital Blantyre belongs to BCC not chiefs.
“They (chiefs) contravene council’s bylaws and its high time people realized that no chief owns land. We urge Malawians to always involve officials from BCC, Malawi Housing Corporations and the ministry of lands.
“Be informed that law enforcers will arrest chiefs and individuals believed to have bought a piece of land without the council’s approval,” said Mangani.
Likewise, BCC’s Urban Planner Brian Msitu, also speaking in the same programme, said chiefs have no authority to share or sell land to people.
Msitu, therefore, urged those that have already built houses in prohibited areas to honorably vacate before the council engage some reasonable force on them.
When contacted on the same, BCC spokesperson Anthony Kasunda claimed that chaotic building of some structures within the commercial city has affected the beauty and growth of the city.
According to Kasunda, they compromise the beauty of the city, thereby contributing to the environmental degradation of the city such as deforestation, river sand mining, low security, sub-standard housing infrastructure, high rate of waterborne diseases as people do not have adequate safe water sources.
He also said most informal settlements are close to the prime areas of the city, thereby leaving little space for the growth of the central business district (CBD).
“They occupy the much-needed land close to the CBD. Informal settlements do not pay city or ground rates needed for the Council to support service delivery and implement urban infrastructure projects,” he said.
TikhaleTcheru TV programme, produced by Elephant Media Productions and sponsored by Malawi’s communication giant Malawi Telecommunications Limited (MTL), aims to sensitize the general public on their rights and duties and at the same time urging communities to take leading role in curbing rampant criminal activities in the country.
MTL Corporate Relations Manager Tina Das claimed that informal settlements and rampant vandalism of the company’s infrastructures paralyze their service delivery, hence their interest in the programme.
She also observed that vandalism is not only robbing the country of very important tele-infranstructure for socio-economic development but it also leading to unnecessary waste of the country’s foreign exchange as copper cables are imported
She therefore said they are working with Malawi Police Service and Escom, among others, in an attempt to curb the problem.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :