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Court stops Malawi Housing Corporation’s house rentals hike

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Malawi Housing Corporation (MHC) tenants have obtained an injunction stopping the corporation from effecting rental hike.

In July, MHC announced it will implement the hiked rentals from September 1 after it had reversed its earlier decision to raise the rentals following protests by the tenants against the raise.

The injunction granted by Justice Redson Kapindu was obtained on Wednesday at Zomba District Registry.

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It is hereby ordered that an order of stay of execution of the decision of the respondent to adjust rentals by 48.76 percent with effect from 1st September, 2017 be and is hereby granted pending the determination of the judicial review herein,” reads the injunction.

Speaking to The Daily Times Thursday, MHC tenant’s association Spokesperson, Goodnews Mphande, said they have obtained the injunction because Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development has not honoured its promise to meet the tenants before the hike.

“As it is, we have letters that say the hiked rentals will be effected on September 1, 2017. Since the Cabinet reshuffle, we have not heard anything tangible from the ministry [of Lands, Housing and Urban Development] and we thought obtaining this court injunction will help us buy time to meet with the ministry officials so that they hear our side of the story,” he said.

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Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development Spokesperson Charles Vintulla said the minister will meet the tenants next week.

“The ministry is going to meet the tenants mid next week in Blantyre. We were waiting for MHC to make confirmation with the tenants, so possibly on Tuesday or Wednesday we will meet the tenants,” he said.

During a press conference in June, MHC Chief Executive Officer, Eunice Napolo, explained that with the present rentals, revenue for a particular house could not be sufficient to maintain and renovate the houses.

She then argued the increase in rentals was necessary for the corporation to continue maintenance works and construction of new houses.

Meanwhile, the institut ion ha s b e en harbouring plans to construct 15,000 houses with 2,500 expected to start in the next financial year.

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