Mayor William Mkandawire has backed calls for Mzuzu City Council to re-assess the cost of maintenance of the house he was supposed to occupy two years ago.
Mkandawire has been living in a private home as his official residence in Kaning’ina was inhabited by trader Joe Nyirongo whose house was sold by the council .
Nyirongo has received a payout of K8 million, but Mzuzu City chief executive officer McLeod Kadammanja said the council needs up to K20 million for rehabilitation.
However, the mayor, and Mzuzu City member of Parliament Leonard Njikho have demanded an independent assessment to ascertain the estimated costs.
In an interview, Mkandawire said the K20 million budget is unrealistic for renovating a house which was habitable a few months ago.
“The council is in financial problems. People will not take us seriously if we spend all that money just on renovations. We will have to re-assess the house and come up with a value that is justifiable. Even with the new figure, we will have to allocate the money in phases until the renovations are over,” he said on Tuesday.
Kadammanja said the council will have to decide whether to spend the contested sum on renovations or to demolish the house and build a new one. n