Govt Orders Demolition of Fences Blocking Beaches

Mia (in head scurf) during the visit Mia (in head scurf) during the visit - pic by Raphael Mlozoa

Government has given a three-week ultimatum to owners of hotels and lodges along the beaches of Lake Malawi to remove fences they constructed closing the beaches or risk forceful demolition by government.

Deputy minister of lands housing and urban development, Abida Mia, gave the ultimatum on Friday after visiting some of the lodges in the lakeshore district of Mangochi.

The development comes after communities living around the beaches of Lake Malawi complained of land encroachment by hotel and lodge owners who have extended their buildings into the beaches making it inaccessible to the locals.

In January this year, ministry of tourism issued a 14-day ultimatum to the owners but nothing has changed.

Friday, deputy minister of lands, Abida Mia, issued another ultimatum giving them 21 days, and failure to comply with this, government will demolish all the structures that were constructed against the law.

"Make sure you follow the laws, write them letters and if they will not comply, demolish the structures," said Mia while instructing officials at her ministry.

The deputy minister said the law is clear that 30 meters away from the beach is public land and it is wrong to close the beaches.

Mangochi district commissioner, Raphael Piringu, said the council will serve the hotels with the warning letters by Monday.

"We are implementors and we will do it as we have been instructed," said Piringu.

According to Mia, the demolition campaign will be implemented in all the lakeshore districts.

Apart from Visiting the lakeshore side, the deputy minister also visited the construction of police houses at Malamia police camp.

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