The Centre for Democracy and Development Initiatives [CDEDI] has invoked the Access To Information [ATI] Law demanding for an explanation on the glaring artistic impression and the actual structures of the would-be Grand Business Park in Area 46-Lilongwe.
The CDEDI says it is demanding a copy of the building plan and designs that were presented before the Lilongwe City Council for approval, accompanied with complete minutes of service committee meeting that approved the same.
The organization says the Grand Business Park is a product of the inaugural Malawi Investment Forum that was held in Lilongwe in May, 2015 to construct the largest business Park in the whole Southern Africa Development Community [SADC] region.
In a letter to the Chief Executive Officer [CEO] Lilongwe City Council with copies to the Mayor and General Manager China Holdings signed by its Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa dated 10th January, 2023 the CDEDI has requested the information or explanation within the next 7 days.
The CDEDI says the Government of Malawi allocated 20 hectares of land to the Chinese investors in Area 46 along the Bunda bypass road to translate their well-articulated business plan during the forum into reality but this has just been put to waste almost 8 years down the line.
The organization says the Grand Business Park was planned to attract Malawian prospective shoppers who used to fly all the way to Guangzhou in China for shopping and also to raise high expectations of changing the face and beauty of the Capital City-Lilongwe.
It says today, Malawians especially Lilongwe City residents are not believing that what they are seeing on the ground in Area 46 along the Bunda bypass road is the same structure that was presented to the Lilongwe City Council for approval.
The CDEDI claims that the Lilongwe residents are feeling cheated to see something a kin to chicken pens and not a shopping complex wondering that if the investor changed their mind after promising Malawians the State-of-the-art shopping complex why the City authorities decide to keep such public information under wraps.
The organization says it is very shocking to see that China Holdings has started floating adverts including Television and the country’s two daily newspapers calling for Malawians to book spaces at the site, describing this as a clear signal that construction works are now completed.
….’’What we are seeing on the ground is the final product which disturbingly contradicts the artistic impression of the Grand Business Park and the ‘’completed’’ structures are now reportedly ready for use,’’…. Reads the letter in part.
The CDEDI says visiting the place, there is no any sign of a Grand Shopping Mall that can prompt someone to come from Zambia or Mozambique to shop as expected of the largest business park in the whole SADC region.