September 28, 2021

Police Demolish Houses in Mzuzu, 65 Malawi Housing Houses Risk Demolition in Blantyre

In the wee small hours of Friday, Police in Mzuzu demolished houses that were built by encroachers on private land. Speaking to one of the encroachers, Dennis Jere said beside the midnight operation which was done in collaboration between the police and Mzuzu City Council officials, the dwellers claim to have proper documentations of the land in question from the Mzuzu City Council. According to reports, one of the victims lamenting bittery for having his house demolished is a staunch supporter of the MCP.

Demolished houses in Mzuzu: Encroachers claim have official documents from City Council

This demolition comes barely a week after the High court in Blantyre granted an injunction evicting Malawi Housing tenants from houses Malawi housing built on private land in Ngumbe in Blantyre belonging to Costa and Samantha Scordis. In Court the Scordis Family is asking the court order demolition of the 65 illegally constructed houses. The court order caused drama and panic at Ngumbe in Blantyre when Malawi Housing Corporation (MHC) tenants were being evicted from their houses which the parastatal organisation constructed on the alleged private land. This development is forcing a displacement of a number of families as several families are expected to be chased out of the 65 two-bedroom semi-detached houses which MHC built with a K3.5 billion bank loan on a freehold farming land belonging to the family of Costas and Samantha Scordis.

The land squabbles are increasingly growing into battles fierce enough for the two, Minister of lands Msukwa and head of state to intervene

MHC management ignored professional advice not to proceed with the housing project due to ownership issues forcing the Scordis family to drag the corporation to court in 2018. Through its lawyer Kuleza Phokoso the Scordis family is demanding the demolition of the 65 houses from the financially struggling MHC and its agents to remove any structures built on the 53 hectares piece of land and if they do not remove, Scordis would demolish and remove all such structures at the cost of the MHC. There was no immediate comment from MHC as both its acting chief executive officer Jordan Chipatala and public relations officer (PRO) Ernestina Lunguzi did not pick up their phones. However Government through the Minister of Lands Kezzie Msukwa and Abida Mia and Titus Mvalo are said to have intervened to negotiate an out of court settlement with the Scordis family to avoid the demolition of the houses. Tenants say they feel unsafe as any day they will be chased and the houses demolished even if it takes time.

Of late, there have been court battles over land issues in many parts the country, most land is believed to have been sold to the foreigners, behind this selling are politicians.

Report by Viweme Kumwenda

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