Some people affected by Paladin Africa Limited’s (PAL) expansion of Karonga Airport say they are yet to be compensated for the land and property lost due to the project nearly two years after valuation.
Among such people is Kennedy Gondwe, a driver with Karonga District Council, who said in a recent interview that he wants his money.
“Since valuation was done in 2011, I have not been compensated. Wherever I will go, I will have to build another house,” said Gondwe.
Karonga district commissioner Emmanuel Bambe said the council was not involved in all the transactions.
“This issue was between the Department of Civil Aviation [DCA] and Paladin. You can talk to them because we were not involved,” said Bambe.
Acting director of Civil Aviation Oxford Mutambo said: “This was supposed to be shared between ourselves and Paladin. We paid the money we were supposed to contribute to Paladin,” said Mutambo.
Mtambo’s position is backed by a letter dated July 26 2011 he wrote to Paladin.
“Please find enclosed herein cheque no. 161845 for K1 800 000 being contribution money towards compensating people who are affected with Karonga Airport Runway Extension Project as per attached claim letter from the Regional Commissioner of Lands [N] on behalf of the district commissioner of Karonga,” wrote Mutambo.
According to the valuation report conducted by a Mr. JS Chikafa from the office of the Commissioner for Lands (N), Gondwe has a three bed-roomed house valued at K1 753750; a kitchen valued at K59 950 and a hawker which was valued at K640 950.
There were also trees that were added to the valuation and disturbance allowance—all of which totalled K2 975 100.
The report also shows that Queen Gondwe was supposed to get K999 720; Clement Malema K3 275; Enock Ghambi K16 600 and Milinda Sichali, K12 375.
Paladin general manager for international affairs Greg Walker confirmed that some people affected by the runway extension needed to be compensated, but that his company was waiting for aviation authorities to finish paying up their contribution.
“A subsequent claim was made by five landholders who were affected by the relocation of roads made during completion of the runway extension project. [This was] after other parties were compensated. Their claims were investigated and compensation totalling just over K4 million was assessed by the Commissioner of Lands,” said Walker.
He, however, said there was agreement with DCA to contribute 50 percent to the compensation fund. He said his company is waiting for K200 000 as outstanding balances from DCA.