Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development Symon Vuwa-Kaunda has stopped an investor from constructing a multi-million kwacha hotel at Katoto Secondary School Sports Complex in Mzuzu.
The investor got an approval from Mzuzu City Council (MCC) to build a hotel at the site.
Confirming the development in an interview on Wednesday, the minister said it does not make sense to turn the sports arena into a hotel site, saying doing so would deprive the youth an opportunity to enjoy sports activities.
“As a minister responsible, I have been entrusted to protect the interests of Malawians. It is true that I have blocked a hotel project at Katoto.
“You are aware that the government of President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika prioritises the welfare of our youths,” he said.
Commenting on the matter, MCC spokesperson McDonald Gondwe confirmed that the council allocated the site to a potential investor because they had planned to allocate another piece of land close to the same site for the sports complex.
“Necessary measures are always put in place when giving out land to investors and we did it because we had earmarked another piece of land for the sports arena. The issue was referred to the Department of Lands for final approval,” he said.
Regional sports officer for the North Georgina Msowoya commended the minister for blocking the project, saying it would have been sad to endorse the move because the region is already short of sports venues.
“We heard about that, actually it was an unwelcome move. Sports is an equally important aspect of our lives and thank the minister for his intervention,” she said.
All regional and national tournaments involving netball, volleyball and basketball are hosted at Katoto Sports Complex.