By Joel Chirwa – Mana.
Rumphi District Council says it will engage Malawi Housing Corporation (MHC) and Ministry of Lands and Urban Development to allocate land to potential developers.
Rumphi District Commissioner, Fred Movete made the remarks Tuesday in an interview with journalists following a visit by Minister of Lands and Urban Development, Kezzie Msukwa and his deputy, Abida Mia.
The development follows a concern by Aram Beza Chairperson of Rumphi Business Community during the meeting with the ministers where he observed that potential developers are failing to access land which is largely owned by MHC.
“We have a serious problem here on issues of accessing land for development. We have members of business community with money and willing to erect structures at our trading centre but are failing to access land. Malawi Housing rarely sales or allocates land to potential developers,” he alleged.
He said this has slowed down infrastructure development pace at the Boma where some newly constructed structures are surrounded by dilapidated structures some of which were built in the 1960s and are an eyesore at the trading centre.
“We can’t talk about development without infrastructure. Rumphi Boma remains underdeveloped. We have a lot of dilapidated structures some owned by MHC built in the 1960s,” he said.
Movete said concerns raised by Beza were genuine, saying the district council itself had been handtied from allocating or failing to sale land to potential individuals and developers because it has no Title Deeds to most of the land.
“The concerns raised by the Chairperson of Rumphi Business Committee are very genuine that Malawi Housing Corporation owns lots of the land here. Also, it is true that MHC owns small houses and land at the business district some of which were built in the 1960s.
“Those with money are indeed failing to acquire or own land for infrastructure development. As District Council we are planning to engage the Ministry of Lands and Urban Development and Malawi Housing on the matter.
He expressed hope that through the process of directly engaging the Ministry and Malawi Housing, the council could be better placed to assist potential developers and individuals to access idle land.