Some concerned businesspersons affected by Kapiri Market and Bus Depot projects in Mchinji District are demanding K300 million compensation from government for their damaged property.
In an interview, one of the concerned businesspeople Gift Kadewere said they will seek legal redress to get an injunction so that construction works are suspended until all payments are made.
He said: “We just got news that government plans to construct a market and bus depot and that we should vacate the market.
“This means our buildings will be demolished. So, before they start demolishing our properties, they should first compensate us.”
But despite the protest, the businesspeople said they support the project.
In a separate interview, Mchinji district commissioner (DC) Bester Mandere said it was unfortunate that some people want compensation, saying the land belongs to the council.
He said the council is not aware of how the concerned people constructed permanent buildings at the market.
Mandere said: “This is public land. It does not belong to anybody but the council.
“If anything, they should have constructed temporary buildings. Now that we have this project, they should have just handed over the land to the council.”
The DC, however, said the council has referred the issue to Senior Chief Dambe to engage the concerned people to realise that the land is not customary land.
The chief said he will meet the area development committee and sub-chiefs to come up with a final decision.
The project, which is expected to be completed in June 2021, is being funded by Malawi Government.