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Minister unimpressed by closure of Lands Offices

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Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Atupele Muluzi, has expressed dismay with the administrative flaws at the Regional Commissioner of Lands offices in Lilongwe which resulted to their closure.

Government business at the offices has been put on hold for two consecutive days following a sit-in by officers over poor water, sanitation and lack of stationery.

Officers there are complaining of water scarcity after Lilongwe Water, Board disconnected its supply a month ago, due to unpaid bills of about K1.9 million.

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One of the officers, who refused to be mentioned, said the toilets which are the most affected have been emitting a foul smell within and outside the offices since January, 2017.

“We just discovered that after the Christmas holiday, we had dry taps and after finding out we discovered that the water supply body had disconnected the water. We have been waiting until now and we can’t bear the foul smell that is coming out of the toilets,”

The development according to the officers forced them to temporarily close their offices for fear of outbreak of diseases.

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After a two-hour, discussion with the officers, at the department, Muluzi admitted that there is poor administration of the rented building that needs to be addressed along poor working environment that officers have been exposed to.

“The issues regarding the water bills have been sorted out. What is very important is the welfare of our staff because I have toured the facility today and I must say I am not impressed in terms of the toilets,” he said

Muluzi has assured the workers that the ministry is in the process of putting the house in order to provide a conducive working environment.

He also said it is high time the ministry owned its own office buildings to address some of these challenges that most lands offices are facing

“First you must know that these are rented offices, they don’t belong to the government, I think we need to start looking at plans of having our own premises and on the other hand making sure that landlords are also fulfilling their obligation. But we have sorted it out and I am sure they will start executive their duties properly soon,” he said

Most of the lands offices are operating in rented buildings due to inadequate government space at the Capital Hill

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