Blantyre City Council (BCC) is yet to start demolition of earmarked buildings under the Red Star Campaign as the injunction property owners obtained from the High Court stopping the exercise still stands.
BCC set March 31 this year as the deadline for owners of buildings to either start demolishing or renovating their property. About 161 buildings have been earmarked for demolition in central business districts of Limbe and Blantyre.
Responding to an e-mail questionnaire, BCC public relations manager Anthony Kasunda said the council is still waiting for the court’s determination on the matter in which 54 property owners obtained an injunction.
However, he said some property owners who did not seek an injunction have submitted their plans of action to the council while others have indicated plans to start demolishing their structures.
“We are open to discussion to find the best way of implementing the urban renewal programme. Not only BCC or government is interested to see a modern city. Residents and all Malawians would want to have a modern city where they do business in a very safe and secure environment,” said Kasunda.
In February this year, BCC instructed its lawyers to vacate the injunction which property owners obtained through their lawyer Mauya Msuku in January but later agreed for an inter-partes hearing.
Judiciary spokesperson Mlenga Mvula said High Court Judge Kenyatta Nyirenda opted that the matter be resolved outside the court.
“As I am speaking now, the judge is outside the country but we are optimistic that the date for the inter-partes hearing will be set as soon as he comes back,” said Mvula in an interview on Thursday.
In February last year President Peter Mutharika inaugurated the Red Star Campaign that would see some buildings in Blantyre City being demolished and others being renovated in a bid to make the city meet international standards. n