By Nenenji Mlangeni
LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-Airport Development Limited (ADL) has embarked on a massive eviction exercise of people who do not work at Kamuzu International Airport but stay at Lumbadzi Housing Estate.
The eviction exercise is happening after their injunction was vacated and there is expectation that at least 128 households will be evicted from the estate.
Speaking in an interview, ADL Chief Executive Officer, Rhoda Misomali said the decision to evict the said people has been prompted by shortage of houses for ADL staff.
She said this will give chance to accommodate only those working at the airport.
“As a landlord of Lumbadzi Housing Estate, ADL has a huge demand for accommodation for people who are actually working at the airport.
“In view of this, therefore, ADL has started evicting people who are not supposed to be accommodated at Lumbadzi Housing Estate for the reasons already stated,” Misomali stated.
Despite vacation of the injunction and negotiations made with the concerned tenants through their lawyer, the concerned tenants have not vacated the houses.
According to Misomali, in the year 2000, there were few people working for government in various departments at Kamuzu International Airport (KIA), as a result, some houses at Lumbadzi Housing Estate were vacant prompting ADL to let out some of them to private tenants on one-year tenancy agreements which were subject to renewal.
“Over the years, the number of people working in various government departments at Kamuzu International Airport started to increase and the need for accommodation arose.
“Termination of these tenancy agreements would ensure that accommodation for people working at Kamuzu International Airport is provided, thereby achieving the intended purpose of Lumbadzi Housing Estate,” she said.
The affected tenants had obtained a court injunction on the same but it was vacated. The vacation of the injunction meant that the people concerned were supposed to quit the houses by February, 2018.
Negotiations were done through their lawyer in which it was agreed that they would vacate the houses by May 1st 2018. Some people actually vacated the houses but others have not though it is now five months since this was agreed on.
“This exercise of eviction is just an enforcement of what was agreed upon earlier on. When conducting an eviction exercise, we involve the police for security reasons in the event that some clients become violent,” said Misomali.
She further stated that ADL’s action is within what was agreed upon and all due processes regarding the same were followed. She also said the action is in the best interest of KIA operations to ensure safety, security and effectiveness.
“Lumbadzi Housing Estate has 848 houses. These vacated houses are solely meant to accommodate people working for various governments departments and stakeholders in the Aviation Sector at Kamuzu International Airport.
“These departments are those that perform key roles in airport operations, and the importance of ensuring that people working in these departments stay close to the airport cannot be over emphasized,” explained the ADL CEO.