Some property owners in Malawi’s commercial capital, Blantyre, have obtained a court injunction, restraining the Blantyre City Council (BCC) from demolishing their buildings in the revamped Red Star campaign.
The red star campaign was expected to roll out this March, this according to officials of the City Council (BCC).
Lawyer representing the property owners Mauya Msuku said some of the buildings earmarked for demolition were approved by the same council less than ten years ago.
“First, the is evidence that some of the properties were constructed with plans approved by the city council and now about five years down the line they are saying the property is not safe for human habitation.
“Secondly, BCC’s decision boarders on condemnation. They are making a decision that will affect rights of the citizens, but none of them was invited for a hearing. The whole process is irregular and unjust, so for that we would like the court to review their decision and the court has granted us an injunction to that effect,” said Msuku.
BCC officials are yet to react to the development.
According to Blantyre City’s Deputy Mayor Wild Ndipo, the council carried verification in Blantyre City where 91 properties were inspected in Limbe and 87 recommended for demolition and in Blantyre 189 properties were inspected and 74 recommended for demolition.
Ndipo said the objective of the campaign is to provide opportunities for replacing dilapidated buildings with modern ones that meet the present living and business infrastructure standards and to improve the urban environment and cityscape.