The Ministry of Lands and Urban Development has been challenged to be innovative and to consider more investments in property to curb numerous rental arrears.
The sentiments follow reports that some ministries and departments are grappling with massive rental arrears amounting to over 13 Billion Malawi Kwacha to different landlords due to failure by the ministry to
Chairperson for the Transport and Public Infrastructure committee of Parliament, Robert Mwina, has highlighted that the proposed investments by the ministry would help in dealing with avoidable costs.
“Last year the ministry came and asked to be assisted with the same arrears and we advised them to start looking for an exit strategy in form of building their own structures,” said Mwina.
According to the parliamentary committee Chairperson, the ministry was to make a move on dealing with the arrears and an agreement was made for it to move with speed and start investing in property development.
Recently, some government offices were closed by down by MPINCO, a property development company, whose buildings house some government ministries, departments and agencies.
Mwina believes the ministry can manage to do undertake the challenge in phases if treasury can help with a starter pack after dealing with all the arrears.
He said: “we believe this can be achieved and in the next 5 years the issue of rental arrears in government could be a thing of the past”
Among those that have suffered due to massive rental arrears in recent times are the ministry of Trade and Industry and the Office of Ombudsman. It is estimated that as of March 2020, government owed MPICO
rental arrears amounting to 5.8 Billion Malawi Kwacha.