There is uncertainty on whether the re-elected Mayor of Mzuzu City William Mkandawire will occupy an official house which was subject of a legal battle during his first tenure of office.
The Mayor is, among others, entitled to honoraria, a house and a chauffeur-driven motor vehicle.
The Daily Times understands the house was repossessed through the courts after being sold in circumstances said to be questionable.
The Daily Times also has it on authority that the council is contemplating on demolishing the house and build another one estimated to cost about K 20 million.
Member of Parliament (MP) for Mzuzu City, Leonard Njikho, expressed doubt if the Mayor’s house would be ready for occupation anytime soon.
“The council is currently facing financial challenges. With plans to renovate the house on the cards, it’s doubtful that this is a viable option,” said Njikho.
The amount was advised by a team of construction experts who inspected the house in October 2016, just after the Mzuzu City Council won the custody battle in court.
The decision was reached at during a full council meeting on Friday, after Chief Executive Officer Macloud Kadammanja announced that renovation works on the house are yet to commence.
“We strongly feel the K20 million is way exorbitant, with such an amount we can put up a better structure for mayor of the city, so as you heard a majority of councillors have not approved that,” said former deputy mayor Frazer Chunga.
By our calculations, in the absence of the official house, the city council will be parting ways with K2.4 million annually in housing allowances alone.
Asked to confirm on the final resolve, Public Relations Officer for the Mzuzu City Council, Karen Msiska said the council is still hedging on its bets as there are several options available.
He said: “Indeed, the councillors have on several occasions unanimously rejected the estimated K20 million need for complete renovation of the house, and they have been giving us suggestions which include demolishing the structure, but the final decision is yet to be reached at.”
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