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Mzuzu Council queried over reallocation exercise

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Beneficiaries of newly allocated plots in Masasa Township in Mzuzu City have accused officials at Mzuzu City Council (MCC) of corruption in the relocation exercise.

Vice President Saulos Chilima through Department of Disaster Management Affairs (Dodma) last year ordered the council to find new plots for the residents who are living along the slopes in the Masasa Township and relocate them to avoid the recurrence of disasters.

Following the heavy downpour that lasted three weeks, over 3,000 houses were destroyed and 11 people died.

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However, some beneficiaries of the new plots claim the council has only registered few names, as compared to the number of the plots.

One of the beneficiaries, Kamtetete Gondwe, made the allegations saying that five plots have been allocated to him alone, instead of getting one.

“When they visited my house, they did not register my neighbour. To my surprise, my name was seen against five plot allocations. I was supposed to get one. Now who is the owner of the other four plots?” Gondwe said.

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However, the council’s Public Relations Officer, Karen Msiska, downplayed the corruption claims, arguing the first phase of registering the names was done at free fair.

Msiska, however, said the only stumbling block on the matter is the delay to allocate the people because the council wants to service the new area with water and electricity.

However, Councillor for the area, Yona Mkandawire, concurred with the beneficiaries arguing the entire process is a mess.

“People are surprised that the council secretariat conducted registration but did not involve anybody including block leaders from the area. Therefore, they suspect some officials from the council plan to sell the other plots which are in the name of one person,” Mkandawire said.

However, the letter which The Daily Times has seen and was signed by the Director of Planning Development (DPD), Alexander Chirambo, admits the anomalies.

But the council argues that the development means the beneficiary had more than one plot.

“Be informed that the teams which came to Masasa were set up by Town and Country Planning Committee of the city. Sub-committees members were individuals from Geology, Lands, Housing, Physical Planning, Town Planning, Health and others. Their inclusion was based on their skills and expertise. They expected to do their work without fear or favour,” reads part of the letter.

Masasa has been allocated 185 plots out of over 1,000 beneficiaries.

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