"It's shameful that the UDF party wants to take us back to the dark days,"

Mr Gwanda Chakuamba (2003)

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Malawi President committed to improving infrastructure

President Bingu wa Mutharika has warned foreigners
against erecting substandard buildings in the country’s four cities,
saying he would demolish them.

The president said this on friday in Lilongwe during the swearing-in
ceremony of Jaffalie Mussa as minister of the newly created Ministry of
Housing and Urban Development.

Mutharika hopes with the creation of the new ministry, substandard
buildings he blamed on foreigners would be a thing of the past.

“Foreigners will not come here again and tell us what to do. This is
our land; it will not work even if they take [Ralph] Kasambara to
defend them,” said Mutharika.

This is the second time the president has mentioned lawyer Kasambara, in frustration.

Mutharika first referred to the former Attorney General on his arrival
from UN General Assembly when he blamed the prominent lawyer for
dragging the government to court over a presidential directive to ban
the buying and selling of maize.

The president called it “multiparty chaos” saying in the past people
used to build substandard houses attributing it to multiparty democracy.

The president says he would set new standards to avoid what he called illegal developers.

The president said he would only allow a minimum of eight storeys for
buildings in the cities, adding he would love to see buildings that go
as far as 12 or 20 high.

He has since directed that the municipal markets in Blantyre, Zomba,
Lilongwe and Mzuzu should be under the new ministry while the rest
would be under the local government ministry to avoid confusion.

The president said he had decided to create the ministry because
housing was a critical issue because there is a growing need for
housing in the country.

The president advised the Ministry to ensure that low income civil servants and the youth, access affordable houses.

Mutharika bemoaned poor housing for the Malawi Defence Forces and the
police, saying most of their houses were built in the colonial days.

The president also said teachers and nurses in rural areas have a
daunting task to find a house and called on the new minister to find
ways of providing houses to rural areas.

He also said traditional chiefs need affordable good housing.

The president then directed that the Malawi Housing Corporation (MHC)
should be supervised by the new ministry as no one supervises the
corporation at the moment.

He praised the new minister who was in the company of 14 DPP supporters
from his Machinga home for standing firm with the government and the
party despite being dropped from cabinet last year.

Mussa was dropped from cabinet last year but remained loyal to the ruling party.

“When you were dropped as minister, you never issued adverse statement
and never threatened to leave the DPP. This is remarkable,” said

The president further said he was surprised the opposition was
questioning the rationale behind the creation of the new ministry.

Speaking after the ceremony, Mussa said he was happy that the president
has trust in him and promised to be dedicated in his new role.

He said housing was a thorny issue in the country as the indigenous were failing to own decent houses.

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