Mota Engil is expected to construct a dry port in Liwonde to boost international trade on water, road and rail. It will also construct a road and rail line to the port, works that will displace some people, hence the compensation.
There is also controversy surrounding the amount, as officials from the Council say only MK300 million would be paid, and not the MK4 billion being mentioned.
Reports indicate that the company already paid some people from Kaudzu village about MK400 million, but about 200 others were yet to be compensated.
The villagers occupied Council premises accusing the council of misappropriating their money.
Leader of the angry villagers, said the council had promised to pay them last week, but failed, hence the protests.
Hussein Mataya claimed Mota Engil is expected to pay 200 people about MK4 billion, but said the process was taking long.
Police rushed to the council’s offices to discuss with the angry villagers who later left the premises but without opening the closed offices.
“We have the keys,” said Mataya in an interview.
Machinga District Council officials later forcefully opened the doors to continue with their day to day operations.
In an interview, Mota Engil Liaison Officer, said the Ministry of Lands and Urban Development had just approved names of people who would be compensated soon.
Austin Msowoya dismissed claims that the company owes the villagers MK4 billion, but could not disclose the exact amount to be paid.
Machinga District Commissioner Reignhard Chavula said the council was only an agent on the compensation issue, adding that the villagers would be paid about K300 million.
Meanwhile, the villagers have warned of further actions if authorities continue 'playing games' on the issue.
Machinga district covers an area of 3,771 km.² and has a population of 369,614.