The Lilongwe City Council (LCC) says it is no longer allocating both commercial and residential plots because it has used up its allocated land and has since sent a save-our-souls (SOS) call to government.
Currently, there are 5 000 applicants on the waiting list for plots, with some having waited as long as 15 years.
He said: “Currently, there is no land. All the plots we had were either sold or leased out. We realise that the growing population might have contributed to the shortage of land and we are working round the clock with government in acquiring more land for the people.”
He also said the council will continue demolishing all houses that were built illegally and confiscating all land acquired in the same manner.
According to Kamela, another contributing factor to the shortage of land is people acquiring the same through dubious means.
He said the council is also encouraging developers to include multipurpose buildings which will encompass residential apartments regardless of where the building is being constructed.
Said Kamela: “Even in towns, we are encouraging developers to have apartments where people can live. This is the way to go because of the situation we are faced with. In the same vein, we are not relenting on all those who acquired land illegally, we will demolish structures and take back the land.”
Information gathered by The Nation shows that LCC was last allocated land by government in the late 1990s and was developing the land in a piecemeal manner.
Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development Principal Secretary Kester Kaphaizi referred the matter to Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urtban Development whose spokesperson Ayam Maeresa asked for more time.
Last year, it emerged that over 200 plots in Lilongwe City alone were acquired illegally. Police arrested five men in connection with the transactions.