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Court rebuffs Malawi Housing Corperation on rentals

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The High Court in Zomba on Monday dismissed an application by the Malawi Housing Corperation (MHC) to vacate an injunction which was sought by the corporation’s tenants.

On August 30, the tenants obtained an injunction stopping MHC from hiking rentals on its houses, arguing that they had not met Minister of Lands and Housing, Anna Kachikho, as they were promised.

MHC lawyers on Monday applied to have the injunction vacated so that the tenants could start paying the new rentals from September 1.

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The tenants’ spokesperson, Goodnews Mphande, said they were told by the legal representatives that MHC attempted to have the injunction vacated.

“Our lawyer Jai Banda told us that MHC lawyers went to court to vacate the injunction but the court turned them down. This means there was merit in the reasons we gave when obtaining the injunction,” he said.

Banda confirmed the development but was quick to say that he was not part of the proceedings himself.

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He said, although an application to vacate the injunction was supposed to be made inter-parte, his clients were not represented and it was not surprising that it was turned down.

“It was done ex-parte. I just heard that they went there to apply for the vacation of the injunction. I haven’t seen the documents that were used to file the application and the ruling and why it was denied but I presume it could be because it was supposed to be made inter-pate,” he said.

In an earlier interview with The Daily Times, Mphande said they got the injunction after sensing lack of interest in the meeting from the Ministry of Lands and Housing.

Meanwhile, Ministry of Housing spokesperson, Charles Vintula, said the meeting, which was scheduled to take place between minister responsible and the tenants today, has been postponed indefinitely because the issue is in court.

Addressing journalists in June, MHC Chief Executive Officer, Eunice Napolo, said present rentals are too low for the corperation to meet the cost of maintaining its houses, hence the hike.

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