Masangwi stops billboard project in Blantyre

Ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) regional governor for the south Noel Masangwi on Friday used his office to stop Tapita Building Construction from putting up a billboard along the Masauko-Chipembere Highway at AXA head office in Blantyre.

Despite the company getting permission and making payments to Blantyre City Council for their project, Masangwi called the same city authorities and ordered them to confiscate the company’s materials and stop them from fixing a billboard.

A security officer from the Blantyre City council on orders from Masangwi descended on the employees and confiscated their materials and warned them of more trouble if they continued with the project.

Masangwi: DPP strongman

But another city official in an interview later faulted his colleague for obeying Masangwi’s orders because the company had got authority from the city’s Town Planning department to fix the billboard.

Masangwi also stopped the same company from fixing another billboard near Maranatha Academy at Keza Building in the same city because his company, Rays Construction failed to get a contract to fix billboards.

“Mr. Masangwi was driving along the highway and when he saw the guys fixing a bill board at AXA he stopped and told them to stop what they were doing because he said there were many billboards around Shoprite and that made the city dirty. He told them that he was telling them to stop as regional governor for ruling DPP in the south,” an eye witness told Nyasa Times.

The source said Masangwi warned that he would send over 40 of his thugs to deal with the employees who were fixing the billboard if they disobeyed his order.

Attempts by Nyasa Times to seek Masangwi’s comment failed as he disconnected athe call after our reporter introduced himself.

An official of the construction company confirmed the order from Masangwi but wondered why he was using his political muscle in the affair.

The billboard was for Alliance Media meant for any company that would want to place an advert on it. Tapita Building Construction was subcontracted by Encor Products according to the city official.

Masangwi is also known for using his connection with President Bingu wa Mutharika to force Asians to donate money in the name of the DPP.

Foreign Affairs Minister Peter Mutharika, who is DPP presidential candidate, is on record describing Masangwi as a “smuggler.”

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