Saturday, April 13, 2024

Lilongwe City Council told to ‘halt’ mowing down of illegally grown maize fields

Maize Field being mowed down

A controversial picture depicting Lilongwe City Council officials mowing down lush and flourishing maize fields sparked outrage on social media yesterday, with members of the public questioning the decision amidst expectations of a poor harvest this season. However, in a pre-emptive strike through their statement, city council officials defended their actions, citing enforcement of city by-laws that prohibit cultivation on vacant plots or within road reserves.

But in response to the public outcry, the Ministry of Local Government, Unity, and Cultural Affairs also released a statement on Thursday, acknowledging concerns over the perceived insensitivity of Lilongwe City Council’s actions.

The statement signed by the Secretary for Local Government, Unity and Culture, James Chiusiwa, has urged the Council to “halt and review the timing of the exercise” essentially instructing them to ceasefire in their removal of maize fields in area 11 and 43 residential areas.

The statement observed that much as the city council may be acting within the bounds of by-laws, but the timing of their actions is problematic essentially succumbing to a verdict in the court of public opinion that removing them at this time could affect the yield this season.

However, the statement fell short of indicating what action the government will take in favour of or against the owners of the farms whose crops were damaged by the City council.

According to a member of Lilongwe City Council Allan Domingo, the exercise began in area 43 yesterday and so far, ten maize farms have been impacted by the Council’s action.




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