Malawi Housing Corporation (MHC) risks paying over K30 million (about $120 000) as refund to about 70 residents of Area 49 in Lilongwe for allegedly breaching an agreement and blocking efforts to connect electricity to their houses.
The residents claim that over five years have elapsed without the corporation developing their area despite collecting development charges in 2007.
The amount claimed is refund for solar equipment, gen sets, gas cookers and other items which the residents have been using instead of power supplied by the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) because of MHCâ€™s alleged failure to buy equipment required to electrify the area.
In an interview on Tuesday, representative of the residents, Jeffrey Mukala, said their lawyer Emmanuel Chapo filed the lawsuit at the High Court in Lilongwe last week.
“We bought plots from Malawi Housing Corporation in 2007 and according to the agreement; the company was responsible for development of the plots to construct tarmac roads, bring water and electricity to the area.
“The arrangement was that the MHC would bring electricity in 2008 because they gave us 12 months to build houses. Otherwise, they would resell the plots to other people. But five years have now gone since we constructed our houses and nothing is being done,” said Mukala.
He said they have gone to court because MHC also ignored their letter dated July 2 2012 from Chapo, giving MHC general manager Wezi Mkandawire seven days to commit to electrify the area.
MHC public relations officer Ernestina Lunguzi Yobe on Thursday demanded a questionnaire to comment on the matter, adding she needed to consult on the same. Â