Communities around Kumbali Country Lodge in Lilongwe have bemoaned the torching of facilities at the premises, saying besides workers risking losing their jobs, the incident will negatively affect early childhood development in the area.
The communities were benefiting from a nursery school that was built within the lodge’s compound.
Speaking in an interview on Monday, one of the residents, Annie Sabiti, said they were shocked by the fire incident.
She said people have been living in harmony with the owners of the lodge and they never imagined that others could set the structure on fire.
Sabiti said: “Children will suffer the most as their school has been burnt.
“The quality of education the children were getting was far much better than elsewhere.”
Kumbali Country Lodge executive director Guy Pickering said the school was benefiting about 80 children.
He said: “But now the children have nowhere to go. Early childhood development is key to a child.
“It will take time to renovate the nursery school since income generation has been affected.”
On Sunday, some residents, who had allegedly encroached the area under the lodge, torched buildings and cars at the lodge after their structures were demolished.
The encroachers, who were allegedly selling land to other developers, were ordered by the court to vacate the area, but they resisted until they were evicted by force.