The Ministry of Labour, Sports, Youth and Manpower Development has attributed the delay in the construction of Mzuzu Youth Centre to land disputes between the government and Grand Palace Hotel owners in the Northern Region city.
The ministry’s Principal Secretary, Joseph Mwandidya, said owners of the hotel, which is a stone throw away from the site, are not happy with the project.
Mwandidya said the hotel owners feel that the centre would be a source of noise, which in turn, may affect their business.
“There is a lot on the table. Of course, there was something that was delaying the project. The Head of State [through Parliament] gave us money to start the project.
But there was a wrangle between the ministry and the hotel’s management, so we are trying to sort out this issue,” he said.
Grand Palace General Manager, Francis Saliya, confirmed their concerns, but said the matter was resolved.
“Of course, we raised a concern when the project started and we discussed with the ministry about two months ago. So, it is not an issue anymore. It was not a wrangle as they put it,” Saliya said. The site has been witnessing ground-breaking ceremonies by ministers that have been heading the ministry in the past eight years.
Mwandidya claimed that K50 million was remitted to the project, contradicting the project’s Construction Committee stance that no single tambala was dispatched.
The government is supposed to clear the land before the Chinese government constructs the centre.
Works at the site halted in February 2017.
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