Council sells school land: HRDC says land should be given back


By Synd Kalimbuka

Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) Zomba chapter is demanding Zomba City Council to give back to Chilunga Community Day Secondary School land which the council sold to individuals.

On Friday, the coalition in conjunction with the board for Chilunga CDSS had a roundtable discussion with authorities from Zomba City Council to map the way forward on how this will be done.

During their discussions, the city council which was represented by Chief Executive Officer Charles Thombozi and Mayor Benson Bula assured HRDC that the council is taking the matter seriously and that they took the issue to council planning committee where they made recommendations.

Mayor for the council Benson Bula said the council will be ready with resolution on Monday December 21, 2020.

“The full council will meet on Friday to make the resolution on the matter and we will be able to give the complainants the feedback on Monday,” said Bula.

HRDC Coordinator for Zomba chapter Wilkness Nakanga said his organisation is waiting with keen interest the resolution which will be made during full council meeting on Friday.

Nakanga promised to take the issue further if the resolution made by the council will not be in favour of them.

Board Chairperson for Chilunga CDSS Ephrain Mphande said this issue of encroaching the school started two years ago where the council only managed to return only 3 plots they sold to individuals.

Mphande said the agreement is that the city should return the whole plots which other individuals are still owning but belong to the school.

“We have agreed that they should return the whole plot despite that they surrendered some pieces where we are not yet satisfied,” Mphande said.

He however, expressed optimism that they will win the battle following the fruitful meeting they had with the council.

Mphande added that the council allocated to individuals half of over 4 hectares of land which the school is supposed to own.

Some officials from Zomba city council have been accused of selling plots to individuals illegally where residents say are tired of the increased cases.

The state Vice President Dr Saulos Chilima warned on the same during fresh presidential elections campaign at Gymkhana ground saying there was illegal selling of plots within Mulunguzi river catchment area.

According to some city residents Malawi24 has spoken with, they are expecting to join forces if the resolution will not favour the school.