A blame game has ensued between traditional leaders and government over the delay to construct the state of the art Monkey Bay hotel and golf resort.
Traditional leaders in the area are accusing government of delaying the construction of the project which they claim would have opened up a window of economic activities which would have benefitted people of the area.
But District Commissioner for the area, Jack Ngulube, has in turn accused the chiefs of failing to make available enough land resources to accommodate the construction of the hospitality infrastructure.
“We have been given the responsibility to look for more land because there is currently not enough space in relation to the project,” he said.
But chief Balamanja has disputed Ngulube’s claims saying the traditional leaders have already released enough land for the construction of the project.
“This is our development and we cannot stand in the way because the project will eventually benefit us,” he said
Another traditional leader, Chief Chirombo, whose area was identified as part of the site for the construction of the development project said his subjects expected to capitalise on job opportunities that the project would have offered them.
“Monkey-Bay is a very beautiful area but its tourism potential is underutilized because may be there is a lack of seriousness on the part of investors or people in responsible positions are not focused enough to see what we are missing,” he said.
The Monkey Bay Hotel and Golf resort, to be run and operated by Mota-Engil, is an integrated resort development covering about 1.6 kilometres of the pristine Masasa Beach along Lake Malawi in Monkey Bay.
The project was born out of the decision by government to designate Monkey Bay as the countr y’s strategic tourist destination promoting development to benefit the local and national economy.
The hotel and golf resort would comprise an 18 hole championship golf course with a fully equipped golf club house with restaurant, bar, shop, 196 golf estate villas, a deluxe 5 star hotel with 51 deluxe rooms, 92 beach villas, a spa, four restaurants, a kids club, several swimming pools and access to 1.6 kilometres of unspoilt sandy beach.
Another much talked about 5 star hotel project in Cape Maclear also in Mangochi is yet to take off after years of speculation.