Chief Justice, His Lordship Rizine Mzikamanda
* If renovation alone costs K422 million, a new house would cost K4 billion—Onjezani Kenani
* The house is in a dilapidated state and it’s extremely big at 6 hectares of land along Magalasi Road
By Duncan Mlanjira
Malawians have received with shock news that the Malawi Judiciary intends to rehabilitate Chief Justice’s official residence at Nyambadwe in Blantyre at a staggering cost of K422,557,735.99.
The works have been awarded to CPL Construction company and the Judiciary indicates that all queries or clarifications regarding this procurement should be made in writing within 14 days from Monday, October 24.
The public was incredulous at this announcement, asking if renovation is expensive than constructing a new house altogether while social commentator, Onjezani Kenani sneered: “If renovation alone costs K422 million, a new house would cost K4 billion.”
Several others questioned the rationale to spend so much for an individual’s luxury when priorities such as health, education and other development areas are not being afforded such funds.
But Malumbo Gondwe said the last time he checked, “maintenance/rehabilitation was more costly than construction of a new structure but the issue should be priorities and not the cost being unrealistic.
“Let’s see the house in question first and the BOQ. We can argue better then. This house is something else.”
Mwai Shora agreed, saying “people should learn to argue based on facts at times — we shouldn’t be emotional all the time,” adding that the house in question is “in a dilapidated state and it’s extremely big”.
Moses Kadzapena said the renovation will mean installing everything including furniture, saying “the figure is exorbitant, indeed. However, it should be borne in mind that since Kamuzu fell out of government, most institutions have never tasted neither lime nor paint, hence renovation is just by name”.
Mwai Mkandawire’s contribution was that the “maintenance of the premises have been long overdue. The size of the plot alone is 6 hectares and it’s along Magalasi Road after Meru filling station.
“Ntchito yake ndi yayikulu (it’s a huge project). “I have seen the house, demolishing and rebuilding will require close to K1.5 billion.”