HRDC gives Zomba Council 7-day ultimatum to explain encroachment on school land


Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) chairperson for the Eastern Region, Madalitso Banda, says the coalition  has given Zomba City Council seven day ultimatum to explain  encroachment by some people  into Mulunguzi Secondary School land or else HRDC will stage demonstration on the issue.

Banda made the remarks when  officials from Zomba City Council, Zomba District Council, Mulunguzi Secondary School Management Committee and the police visited the encroached land.

He added that no one can commence construction without the Zomba City Council knowing and expressed belief that some official at the Zomba City Council allocated the land through corruption.

Banda further said he will also push the issue further if the council fails to convincingly explain better.

“We suspect that the council’s Chief Town Planning Officer, Phillimon Maseko  knows something about the illegal land allocation because his office handles such issues,” HRDC Eastern Region chairperson  added.

Mulunguzi Secondary School Board of Governance chairperson, Pastor, Evance Chidzanja, said the school has been presenting the land encroachment issue to Zomba City Council many times but the council failed to act on the issue.

Pastor Chidzanja said he knows for sure that someone at the Zomba City Council has been allocating the land through corruption and that this has  been the reason the council fails to act despite the school’s concerns.

He said HRDC’s intervention has helped to bring officials from different sectors to tour the encroached land.

Pastor  Chidzanja added that concerned parents of students are worried because of the school land  encroachment.

He observed that the encroachers  damaged the school sewer line in the course of constructing access roads to their plots.

The Chief Town Planning Officer failed to respond when the HRDC and the police asked him to explain the issue.

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