Blantyre City Council (BCC) will have to wait a little longer before it starts enforcing demolition of earmarked buildings under the Red Star Campaign because the High Court has not yet made its determination on the injunction obtained by 54 property owners restraining the council from implementing the campaign.
BCC set March 31 2016 as the deadline for owners of earmarked buildings to either demolish or renovate their property. About 161 buildings have been earmarked for demolition in central business districts of Limbe and Blantyre.
BCC public relations manager, Anthony Kasunda said the council is still waiting for the court’s determination on the matter.
For the owners who did not get an injunction, Kasunda said the council is cooperating with them as some have given their plans of action while others have already started demolishing their structures to construct new ones.
“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 the property owners obtained through their lawyer Mauya Msuku in late January but later agreed for an inter-party hearing.
Judiciary spokesperson Mlenga Mvula said High Court Judge Kenyatta Nyirenda opted that the matter be resolved outside the court and all parties have made their submission waiting for the date.
“As I am speaking now the judge is outside the country but we are optimistic that the date for the inter-party hearing will be set as soon as he comes back,” said Mvula.
President Peter Mutharika in February last year inaugurated the Red Star Campaign that would see some buildings in Blantyre City being pulled down completely and others being renovated in a bid to make the city beautiful and meet international standards.