Controversy has emerged over Kamuzu View along the Blantyre-Chikwawa Road after a private developer reportedly ‘bought’ the site to turn into a private commercial spot.
The developer, Nelson Munthali, acquired the place with the intention to construct a stop-over facility comprising a restaurant, bar, summer huts, washrooms and running water.
However, Deputy Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development Abida Mia stopped the acquisition of the land and the impending construction works after she suspected illegal transactions.
The deputy minister then gave the developer a 72-hour ultimatum to remove about 57 000 bricks and stones which he brought on the site for the project.
She said: “This is an illegal transaction and illegal development on a public land. I, therefore, order the developer to remove his bricks within three-days.”
Group Village Head Kantimbanya denied selling the land to Munthali, but confirmed to have spoken with him about his plans to upgrade the site.
Said the village head: “He indeed approached me that he wanted to construct washrooms because fun seekers were having challenges in terms of sanitation. I referred him to the district commissioner. There was no transaction between us but he promised me a ‘thank you’ later.”
But in an interview yesterday, Munthali said although he has suspended his project, he will not remove the bricks from the site.
The Blantyre-based medical doctor argued: “There were no shortcuts [in acquiring the land]because I visited Blantyre City Council who referred me to the district commissioner and the Ministry of Lands.
“I only met the village head after I was instructed to do so because the said piece of land falls under his jurisdiction.”
He said he plans to meet the deputy minister and other stakeholders for them to appreciate his side.
“Otherwise, I feel humiliated with the manner I have been treated. I have spent about K2 million on that project and I think it is one way of working with government to develop our country,” said Munthali.
Over the years, Kamuzu View has been a popular site along the Blantyre-Chikwawa Road as visit the site to pass time, hold parties and admire the scenic views.