Construction of M’mbelwa District Council office complex in Mzimba is in limbo following damage and looting of K40 million worth equipment and building materials during the nationwide anti-Jane Ansah demonstrations.
DEC Construction Company managing director Dan Chale said this on Monday when Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Ben Phiri visited the project.
He said looters capitalised on the volatile situation to torch a warehouse where they looted sophisticated equipment.
“The vandalised machines and a warehouse which stocked a lot of delicate building materials and the subsequent looting of office equipment and stationery has been a setback on the project,” he said.
The project site manager Wongani Phiri said some of the machines set ablaze are three phase electronic concrete mixture, three phase gen set and two phase compactor.
“Looters pulled down an iron sheet made-fence and stole bags of cement, workers protective gear and other things,” he said.
Mzimba Police station officer Richard Bullo said six people were arrested in connection with the arson, vandalism, looting and theft at the project site.
“We charged them with malicious damage but they were acquitted by the court,” he said.
The minister condemned the development, saying it was retrogressive.
“Demonstrations have never solved problems. If there are misunderstandings, the best way is to discuss with each other,” he said.
Mzimba district commissioner Thomas Chirwa said the structure will change the landscape of Mzimba Boma once completed.
The July 26 demonstrations were the first to take place in Mzimba South District.