Mayhem as city council ‘grannies’ fight over land

There was commotion at Mondoni residential area in Zingwangwa, Blantyre when two City Council officers fought over a little piece of land resulting in one of them losing teeth.

Chilobwe Police and neighbours of the two officers confirmed the development to Nyasa Times on Saturday.

Police picked the two martial officers- a Mrs. Chikumbo and Miss Osman- both in their late 60s, for interrogation before they were released to sort out the issue “as neighbours, workmates and at family level.”

The two old women are both employees of Blantyre City Council within the Administration section.

“The fierce battle broke out on Saturday morning between Mrs. Chikumbo and Miss Osman after the two differed over boundaries of their plots,” a neighbour who witnessed the whole fracas told Nyasa Times.

She explained that the family of Mrs. Chikumbo stretched into Miss Osman’s plot and when the offended person tried to query the other became offensive and a fight ensued.

“Police were called together with security personnel from the council who came and reasoned with the two before warning them of being thrown in custody if they continued.

“Although they cooled down the situation immediately after they left, the quarrels resurrected and another fight ensued resulting in Miss Osman losing her teeth before she rushed to report to police,”
revealed the source.

According to the source, after observing that it was not being assisted, the Osman family sought assistance of their relatives from Mpemba area (some 10kms away) that raided their opponent’s abode in a three-tonner vehicle for revenge the following day.

“About 13 people invaded the house and for some good hours, the whole Chikumbo family was held hostage. For about five hours, the family was confined in the house until police arrived and rescued them around 12 noon on Sunday,” said the source.

When police arrived they picked both families for another questioning and reasoned with them before referring the matter to their employers- city council- to resolve.

“Since they are both employees of the city council who is also their landlord we felt the matter has to go there first before we can come in,” said an officer at Chilobwe Police.

Efforts to hear their side of the story proved futile as the two families vehemently refused to grant Nyasa Times an interview.

Meanwhile, BCC officers from Town Planning department were expected to visit the scene and check measurements on actual boundaries of plots before coming up with a verdict.

Blantyre City Council sold its institutional houses at Mondoni just like Kamba and Limbe to some selected sit-in tenants.
Before selling the houses, there were no cases of land disputes as the occupants were mere tenants but now it has become an issue as they want to have a clear view of their plots.

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