Mzuzu City Council (MCC) has reclaimed the mayor’s official house almost eight years after it lost it to a businessperson.
In 2005, the council sold several houses it had confiscated and one of the houses in Luwinga Township was sold to businessperson Joe Nyirongo for K100 000 ($168.51). However, the owner of the house took the council to court where it was ordered that the house be returned to him.
At the time of the court order, Nyirongo had renovated the house meaning the council had to pay Nyirongo money for the renovations as well. To calm the situation, MCC asked Nyirongo to occupy the mayor’s house as it sorted out the issue.
The council, however, failed to resolve the issue until councillors and mayors were elected in 2014. Nyirongo refused to vacate the mayor’s house as he was claiming K8 million ($13,716.7) compensation. The development saw Mzuzu City mayor William Mkandawire occupying a private house at Mchengautuwa, a high density area.
After an eight-year struggle, the council has finally paid Nyirongo his money and the businessperson is due to vacate the house soon.
Both Nyirongo and Mkandawire on Wednesday confirmed the payment.
Mkandawire said the council has paid about K4 million ($6,835.71) as final payment after it had already paid the same amount last year.
He said with the payment, the council is the legitimate owner of the house. However, he said Nyirongo was still occupying the house as there were other arrangements to be finalised.
Nyirongo said he has asked the council to give him about six months before he can vacate the house. He said the period will give him ample time to find alternative accommodation.
“The mode of payment affected my plans. I got the first payment last year in August and the other payment has just been issued a few days ago. It was hard for me to finish my project. The money has also been given several years after the court ordered the council to pay me.
“I understood the financial situation they were in and I did not put them under pressure to pay me,” said Nyirongo. n