Lilongwe City Council (LCC) has demolished foundations meant for construction of shops and public toilets at a prime land near Crossroads Hotel in the city.
The land was invaded by people who masqueraded as representing Beautify Malawi (Beam) Trust, a charity founded by First Lady Gertrude Mutharika. The trust has since distanced itself from the encroachers.
The land in question was once used as a car park for Crossroads Hotel opposite its Great Sapitwa Hall.
LCC spokesperson Tamara Chafunya said in an interview they have demolished the foundations because the area is not supposed to have structures.
“We want orderly development projects. We are enforcing the law,” she said.
The misunderstandings arose when between June and July this year some people invaded the land and started allocating plots to each other, saying they had the blessing of Beam Trust which wanted to construct toilets on the land.
The people also said the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was given the other portion of the land.
However, Beam Trust spokesperson Dingiswayo Jere disowned the encroachers, saying it was unlawful for them to use the Trust.
“In July some parties obtained a court order to stop LCC from enforcing some alleged rights over portions of land in the city. Apparently, the people had made representations to the effect that they were acting on behalf of Beam Trust,” he said.
Further enquiries confirmed that the alleged persons have no connection with Beam.
DPP spokesperson Nicholas Dausi expressed ignorance about the issue when we called him.
Efforts to talk to the encroachers proved futile as their phones went unanswered.