Malawian Vice President Dr Saulosi Chilima on Thursday asked Blantyre City Council (BCC) to vacate an injunction obtained by people who encroached Soche Hill “with immediate effect” to reduce occurrence of accidents due to floods.
Dr Chilima said this in Blantyre when he visited flood prone areas in Soche and Ndirande townships following the onset of the rains.
Government, through its relevant institutions such as BCC and Malawi Housing Corporation (MHC), ordered encroachers around Soche Mountain to vacate the place some years back, but the residents defied the orders by obtaining an injunction from the High Court.
However, Chilima wondered why BCC was failing to vacate the injunction for five years when it has a fully-fledged legal team that can do the needful on the matter.
“What I am saying here is that all people who encroached into Soche Mountain should be relocated with immediate effect. But what I hear is that people got injunction against the decision and it is now five years down the line.
“This place is a death trap and people need to be moved out to avoid loss of lives due to floods. When we lose lives due to national calamities no one can go to court to get injunction against the dead,” observed the Vice President.
BCC’s Deputy Director for Town Planning, Matthews Mwadzaangati said the council was doing all it could to remove the injunction and hoped shortly the matter would be water under the bridge.
“By the time the council made its determination of relocating the encroachers there were only 61 people, but now the figure has swelled since injunction was obtained five years ago.
“What we are fighting now is to remove the injunction,” said Mwadzaangati, adding that people would be relocated to Machinjiri Township when the injunction is vacated,” he said.
“Right now our hands are tied with injunction and we cannot do anything. But trust us sooner or later the injunction will be vacated,” he assured.