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Taskforce seals Lilongwe City Council offices

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bisnowatytaskforce comprising ward councillors and members of Parliament (MPs) has sealed three offices at the Lilongwe City Council (LCC) for alleged rampant illegal land allocation perpetuated by some officers.

The sealed offices include those of the Deputy Director of Planning, Estates Manager and the Registry which keeps plot files.

Chairperson of the taskforce Gibson Kamtondoli of Chilinde 2 Ward moved the motion to have the three offices sealed recommending a thorough audit and investigations into the matter.

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Speaking during a full council meeting on Monday, Kamtondoli implicated officials in the department of planning and development in illegal land allocation in the city from 2010.

According to the councillor, a junior officer in the department (name withheld) has sold 15 plots in Area 49 each going at K2.5 million.

“This junior raked in a whopping K37.5 million overnight. If a junior can do this, what about his seniors in the department? The council offered some plots in 2010 in Area 49 and we have also discovered that these officers are also selling [one plot] to two or three people and there is confusion there. We need an audit of all plots that were offered in 2010 and how many plots were paid for and how many were not paid for,” said Kamtondoli.

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He disclosed that files for all plots sold in 2010 and offer letters were not even signed by the Chief executive Officer (CEO).

“This is why those plots are still undeveloped until now which is contrary to council regulations which stipulate that when somebody buys a plot and does not develop it in two years, the council reclaims it,” said Kamtondoli citing plot number LC49/06/97 as an example.

One of the members of the taskforce David Bisnowaty, MP for Lilongwe City Central confirmed the sealing of the offices and promised that something big will come out of their action.

“When we finish everything the taskforce will have the mandate to demolish all the structures on those plots,” he said.

When contacted for comment Director of Planning and Development at LCC Hillary Kamela refused to divulge more information on the matter since investigations are still underway.

“So far there has not been any formal submissions on the allegations made. But I am aware that the full council instituted a committee to audit the plots in Area 49, Sector 6. As such, it would be difficult to substantively comment until the audit investigation results are out,” said Kamela.

Members of the taskforce are Kamtondoli, Bisnowaty and Bentley Namasasu, MP.

Meanwhile, LCC has been struggling to collect city rates due to system lapses and the whole of Civic Centre where the secretariat is housed had been without power the whole of last week after Escom disconnected electricity over an unpaid K2.5 million bill.

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