Malawi: Chatha Residents Rebuff Blantyre City Council Over Plan to Collect Revenue

Residents of Chatha, along Chileka airport road in Blantyre have rejected a proposal by the Blantyre City Council to start collecting revenue after faulting the property valuation process used.

In a protest petition signed by over 200 property owners of the sprawling medium-density area, and delivered to the council, the residents have raised three objections key of which is that the formulas applied are questionable.

The other two main objections are that the Chatha area does not fall under the City Council's jurisdiction, and that as such BCC's services do not extend to the area. The services not provided by the council to the area include sewerage and sanitation coverage, road maintenance, street lighting, and dry waste collection.

"We are seeking clarification on these key issues, among others. We've given the Council 14 days from July 18, 2021 to address our grievances," said Lawrence Kafere, a representative of the residents.

Kafere said the valuation process used by the BCC lacked credibility and transparency and that a lot of details were missed. He further said some properties are not registered with the authorities, but gave been added to the roll.

While acknowledging the resident's petition, BCC Public Relations Officer Anthony Kasunda has told local media that the council faces numerous queries from other property owners on the same valuation roll.

Following the release of the Quinquennial Valuation Roll by the City Council, professional quantity surveyors, investors and other property owners in Blantyre have queried the method saying it is faulty and questionable.

The stakeholders want BCC to halt the process and resume with proper consultations and transparency as well as revisiting the methodology to be applied.

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