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Blantyre City expansion drive stalls

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Blantyre City Council, through the Ministry of Local Government, is still waiting to hear from the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development to approve their plans to expand the city of Blantyre.

Plans to expand the commercial city have been on stand still for a longtime although the council sent its proposal regarding the project which is expected to advance commercial activities of the city.

Founded in 1876, through the missionary work of the Church of Scotland and named after the town of the same in Scotland, Blantyre’s historical importance is rivaled by no other Malawian city.

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It has many historic and cultural heritage resources, which constitute a vital part of the city and are crucial to its identity, cultural and social well-being and attractiveness to business and tourism. It became a British consular in 1883 and attained municipality status by 1895, making it Malawi’s oldest municipality.

However, the commercial city has not made much progress in terms of expansion over the years. Plans were made in the past to enlarge the city further to Kameza up to Lunzu and also the other part off Chikwawa Road.

Blantyre City Council’s spokesperson Anthony Kasunda said a proposal was sent to the Ministry of Local Government but there is no response yet.

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“The matter now lies in the hands of government … when the ministry gives us a go ahead, we will start the project as soon as possible,” said Kasunda.

Minister of Local Development Kondwani Nankhumwa said his ministry will embark on the project once it is given an okay.

“Yes, as a ministry we finalised the process by identifying the areas where other structures will be built. Meanwhile, we cannot disclose how much it is going to cost in the expansion process as we are still waiting for the approval,” Nankhumwa said.

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