Malawi Property Investment Company Limited (Mpico) plc on Monday sealed two government offices at city centre in Lilongwe to push for settlement of K5.8 billion rental arrears accumulated over a 20-month period.
Mpico plc managing director Damien Kafoteka confirmed the development in an interview on Monday, saying the listed property management firm sealed Tikwere House and Zowe House. The two buildings accommodate various government ministries, departments and agencies.
He said the action was taken because previous engagement with the tenant failed to yield positive results.
Said Kafoteka: “The Mpico board of directors approved the action to seal the offices to squeeze the government to pay because the debt is not sustainable for us as a company.
“You can imagine that the whole of the last financial year 2021/2023, government did not pay us a single tambala. This is a very big worry for us and with such level of debts, most companies would not survive.”
He said as a company, they are affected by the government arrears as they too in turn are failing to pay some service providers.
Ministry of Lands spokesperson Enoch Chingoni confirmed that Mpico sealed Zowe House, which accommodates Ministry of Lands headquarters, Department of Lands, Department of Urban Development and Department of Physical Planning.
Tikwere House, on the other hand, is home to Ministry of Lands Deeds Registry.
Chingoni said: “Currently, discussions are underway with Mpico to resolve the matter amicably and we hope a solution will be reached and the buildings will be unsealed for our official business to continue smoothly.
“Suffice to say that as a ministry, we are committed to pay the rentals.”
Mpico Limited, a subsidiary of Old Mutual (Malawi) Group, is listed on the Malawi Stock Exchange and is engaged in development, rental and management of properties.