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Peter Mutharika evasive on plans for Mzuzu flood victims

President Peter Mutharika Tuesday failed to give any ray of hope to the 3,700 households that were displaced by floods in Mzuzu City.

In his four-minute speech delivered at Kauwa Camp Mutharika failed to articulate proper strategies that his government has in store to ensure speedy identification of land for the victims to relocate to.

Rather, the president stuck to the usual political rhetoric of discouraging people from building houses in low lying and water logged areas.

“I have seen two sites where the disaster struck, and my immediate reaction is that we should avoid building houses close to rivers to avoid a repeat of such catastrophe,” said Mutharika.

“My government through the Office of the Vice President will do what it can to help all of you who were affected,” he concluded.

The president’s visit comes barely a week after the Mzuzu City Council raised concern that it is facing problems in identifying land for the victims to relocate to, due to the country’s porous land laws which permit multiple ownership.

During the trip, Mutharika personally gave out cash condolences to the four families that lost members to the heavy downpours which lasted over a month.

He further donated K7 million, salt and soap as contribution to the start-up packages to the refuge seekers who have since started leaving the camps.

Speaking after Mutharika’s address spokesperson for the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (Dodma) Jeremiah Mphande said all victims living in camps have up to May 30 to relocate.

“We are giving out return packages, as we get into recovery phase. Wherever possible we will continue to render support to vulnerable households and also monitor others working at re-establishing themselves,” explained Mphande.

Meanwhile, acting director of health and social services at the Mzuzu City Council Felix Namakhuwa said amendment to the land bill is the only solution to the land issue since among other things city councils will have ownership rights.

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