The Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development has halted the construction of what would have been a stop-over facility comprising a restaurant, bar, summer huts, washrooms and running water.
The construction, along the Blantyre-Chikwawa Road, was halted as the ministry’s Deputy Abida Mia stopped the acquisition of the land and the impending construction works after she suspected illegal transactions. Following the directive, the developer of the construction was given a 72-hour ultimatum to remove about 57 000 bricks and stones which he brought on the site for the project. “This is an illegal transaction and illegal development on a public land.” said Mia, “I, therefore, order the
developer to remove his bricks within three-days.”
Group Village Head Kantimbanya denied selling the land to the developer, but confirmed that he was approached for its acquisition. “I referred him to the district commissioner. There was no transaction between us but he promised me a ‘thank you’ later” said Kantimbanya.
Last month, the Minister of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare, Patricia Kaliati warned against the construction of structures on land that belongs to government institutions and upon resistance, the government will not hesitate to destroy the structures. “The issue of encroachment is a big challenge in most government institutions. As part of addressing this challenge, especially in colleges under my ministry, we might construct fences around all institutions.” Kaliati said.