By Synd Kalimbuka
Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Lingson Belekanyama has welcomed Zomba City Council’s plan to extend city boundaries as one way of enhancing development activities in the city.
Belekanyama on Wednesday met city secretariat and elected council members before visiting Zomba mini stadium currently under construction.
Mayor for the city Benson Bula said there is a need to extend city boundaries if the council is to attract investors for industrialization.
“It is very sad to see the first capital city of our mother Malawi under-developing like this because of lack of space for factories and other income generating activities,” he said.
The council proposes to extend the city to Songani in Zomba Malosa constituency and 7 miles.
After being reinstated as a city in 2008 by former president late Bingu Wa Mutharika, Zomba has remained the same with old and dilapidated structures.
The council also would like to own Zomba State lodge where it wants to run a lodge to increase revenue collection.
On dilapidated buildings, Zomba City Council made an appeal to the minister that they should start demolishing all old buildings under Red Star campaign where the first target will be government buildings such as Zomba police station and Eastern region police headquarters offices.
In his remarks, the minister supported the idea of having the city extended and owning the state lodge but advised to write his ministry for consideration.
He assured them that once the idea is passed, the city will develop very quickly like Mzuzu city.
After the talk with members of the council, Belekanyama inspected construction works of K4 billion Zomba mini stadium where he expressed concern on the delay of the work.
“Delay of any work increases the cost and also delays the benefits the project would bring to communities,” he said.
He further promised to discuss with ministry of finance so that the project is fully funded.
According to the DEC Construction, the stadium is expected to be completed in December this year if government funds them.
The minister also inspected the K933 million Songani market and Thondwe bus depot owned by Zomba district council.
Zomba City Council has in the past been accused of lack of proper planning for infrastructure development.