A battle has ensued between Lilongwe City Council (LCC) and Beautify Malawi Trust (Beam) over land in the capital city.
The land is situated opposite Civo Stadium and Crossroads Hotel.
According to a court injunction Malawi News has seen, Beam and other three people went to court to obtain the order restraining LCC from taking action until the matter is substantially heard in court.
This comes at a time LCC has been demolishing illegal structures in the city.
The order, which was issued by Judge Charles Mkandawire on July 19 2019, allowed the application by Beam, owned by First Lady Gertrude Mutharika. The others party to the action are Gift Kalipinde, Tobias Chabuka and Kulimba Chiotcha.
“Upon hearing counsel for the claimants and upon reading the sworn statement in support, it is hereby ordered and directed that an injunction be and hereby granted restraining the defendant by itself, servant, agents or otherwise from interfering with the Claimants, Toilet, Offices and Shops that have been built opposite Civo Stadium, Crossroads Hotel and Banja La Mtsogolo (near Lilongwe Bus Depot) in the city of Lilongwe until the conclusion of this matter or until a further order of this court,” leads part of the court order.
But LCC Mayor Councillor Juliana Kaduya said she was surprised that LCC has been dragged to court over the land that LCC has earmarked for building toilets and a car park.
“We are talking of a place whereby the council earmarked it for the same project, that is to build toilet structures so that the assembly can use for revenue collection, as I am talking, some people are camping on the site, claiming that the land belongs to them but this is illegal,” Kaduya said.
But when asked about the injunction, LCC spokesperson Tamala Chafunya said she is not aware of the court order.
Asked about the illegal structures that are being built in part of the city, Chafunya said the city council has its own by-laws and has been sensitising people in the city that it will demolish any structure that is illegal.
Beam was registered as a charity on September 4 2014 with main objective of encouraging Malawians to work towards making the country cleaner and heathier.
The trust envisions, among others, increased access to participatory and improved sanitation and sustainable community management of waste and waste facilities in Malawi.