Mzuzu City Council (MCC) has sued 16 village heads and people living around Msiro waste site for allegedly damaging the facility.
In civil cause number 52 of 2020 filed in the High Court of Malawi in Mzuzu Registry, the council seeks possession and control of the facility, damages and costs of trespassing and destruction of property and an injunction restraining defendants from locking out the council or stopping them from using the facility.
“On or around 10th January 2020 the defendants through Henry Bono Ngulube, a Mr Nkhata [a representative of Inkosana Mopho Jere] and others, entered upon the claimants’ property, caused damage and purported to close the waste management facility thereon without the consent of the claimant,” reads in part the summons filed by Mzuzu City Council legal services manager Masauko Daniel Chijere.
In an interview, Chijere said the council has nowhere to dispose of garbage.
“There is a threat of an outbreak of waterborne diseases in the city due to uncollected garbage,” he said.
Msiro community spokesperson Henry Ngulube confirmed that they were served with the summons.
He said: “We will meet and discuss on how to respond to the summons.
“However, we feel that we have genuine reasons for locking out the council from using the facility because it acted contrary to earlier promises that the facility will be used for waste management.”
Ngulube said the council did not recycle waste as promised.
“Instead, they were just dumping garbage on an open ground without even digging landfills. This exposed us to diseases,” he said.