By: Vincent Gunde
The Dowa District Council and Airport Development Limited ( ADL) are battling over land and a house belonging to the council at Lumbadzi trading centre along the M1 Lilongwe _ Mzuzu road.
The issue of the land and a house was brought into the house of the previous full council meeting by MP for Dowa South East, Harry Njoka Chipeni, who accused the council’s Lands Officer, Lezias Banda of knowing the truth surrounding the sale of council property at Lumbadzi trading centre in the district.
Njoka claimed that the office of Lands at the council is fully responsible for issuing leasing documents hence a great need to explain on how the land and house was sold.
He also claimed that so many public land in the district were tampered for sale by the alleged Lands Office leading to the extent that one prominent business man, a Mr. Kwenje allegedly bought land belonging to council for his filling station at Nambuma trading centre in the district.
However, the council’s Lands Officer, Lezias Banda, denied any knowledge of the issue raising suspicion that some officers at the council were allegedly behind the sale of the council land and a house at Lumbadzi.
The previous full council meeting summoned the Works and Development service committee to issue a stop order for this illegal land and house at Lumbadzi, discussing the matter, making a recommendation and an action plan of the house if necessary.
The committee’s chair, councilor Lufeyo Malodza, said the stop order has not been issued on suspicion that the occupant of the said house probably was authorised by Airport Development Limited ( ADL) either renting or buying from this company.
Malodza said according to their preliminary findings, the occupant of the house in question is alleged to have applied for a structural plan to ADL to build the house at Lumbadzi.
District Commissioner for Dowa, Alex Mdooko, asked the council members not to discuss the matter in a hurry saying the council may end up being sued in a court of law for taking shortcuts in dealing with the issue at hand.
Mdooko said the council has to handle the issue professionally since their are no documents showing that the land and house at Lumbadzi belongs to it.
But, according to the source who have been following the issue with a keen interest said issues of public land selling in the district started way back in 2005 and reached its climax after the then Lands Officer, a Mr. Gondwe was transferred to the capital hill in Lilongwe in February, 2009.
The source said a messenger in the Lands office is allegedly to have acted as a District’s Lands Officer from 2009 _ 2013, until the new Lands Officer, Lezias Banda was posted to the district.
He claimed that people are owning legally documents of buying public land in the district and get it leased citing some houses within the Dowa District Hospital premises, Dowa and Mponela main markets, houses built behind the O/Cs house at the Dowa boma, shops built with no room for expansion, just to mention but afew beside the Dowa turn off market land and a place for Nambuma filling station.
At one of the previous full council meeting, T/A Mponela, protested heavily after the council made a resolution to demolish some illegal structures built at Mponela trading centre claimed to be for the council.
Chief Mponela said the owners of the claimed land had built permanent structures and demolishing these, will not be a solution, excusing himself from taking part in the group of those planning to demolish the structures.
By: Vincent Gunde