Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Symon Vuwa Kaunda MP, has succeeded in stopping an investor from constructing a multi-million kwacha hotel at Katoto Secondary School Sports Complex (KSSSC) in the City of Mzuzu.
Minister Vuwa Kaunda says he will not allow an investor to construct a multi-million kwacha hotel at Katoto Secondary School Sports Complex
Local press reported that Mzuzu City Council (MCC) gave the investor an approval to build a hotel at KSSSC.
This is the only public place in Mzuzu that has a football ground, netball, volleyball and basketball courts that are of standard.
Even Mzuzu University, the only public university in the northern region, has no such facilities.
KSSSC is the place residents in Mzuzu consider as their social center that gives them a true definition of entertainment.
However, Kaunda has blocked the move to sell the place, saying it does not make sense to turn the sports arena into a hotel site as that would deprive the youth an opportunity to enjoy sports.
“As a minister responsible, I have been entrusted to protect the interests of Malawians. It is true that I have blocked a hotel project at KSSSC. You are aware that the government of President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika prioritises the welfare of our youths,” said Kaunda.
The decision to approve KSSSC land for the investor was allegedly made without considering the youths and different organisations that use the place for games and other entertainment activities.
The site is also used as a football ground for Katoto Secondary School students and a hub for different public activities like music shows and political events because the place is at the center of the City of Mzuzu.
Actually, all regional and national tournaments involving netball, volleyball and basketball are hosted at KSSSC.
Kaunda added that allowing the hotel project on the site could have been unfair to all residents of Mzuzu considering that Mzuzu Stadium is also small and lacking a number of amenities.
“My decision to reject the hotel project was arrived at in the interest of the public. It is for the common good of the people of the Northern Region. After all, the policy of President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika, who appointed me as a minister, is people first,” he said.
It is said that MCC, after allegedly giving KSSSC land to the investor, planned to allocate another piece of land close to the same site for sports activities.
But MCC Spokesperson, McDonald Gondwe, clarified: “The land in question does not belong to Mzuzu City Council. KSSSC grounds belong to Katoto Secondary School. So the best to respond on this matter should be the owners of the land.”
However, efforts to speak to Katoto Secondary School authorities and Ministry of Education officials proved futile.
Meanwhile, Kaunda has received praise from the public for blocking the hotel project at KSSSC with most people describing him as an embodiment of the aspirations of the people of Mzuzu.
“The actions of the Minister Symon Vuwa-Kaunda have shown that he is a true son of our land. He is a patriot and a sensitive person who understands the needs and aspirations of his people. By blocking the death of KSSSC, Vuwa has shown all of us that he puts his people first,” commented one Ziliro Mchulu.