Human rights activist Gift Trapence of Centre for the Development of People (CEDEP), a Malawian NGO working on human rights of minority groups, has accused governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) for getting back to its past mistakes in bad law formulation.
Trapence was commenting on the passing of controversial Customary Land Bill which will entail native Malawians to pay fees and taxes for their land.
“Why is the DPP introducing Chamwaka Taxes again,” Trapence queried.
“DPP party is always known for the bad side of history. This is the same party that introduced bad laws in 2011 that led to July 2011 demonstrations. Now they are back again,” Cedep boss noted.
He faulted the Peter Mutharika led government for not consulting widely and allows a lengthy public debate before the Customary Land Bill was passed.
“How can you introduce taxes to the same people that you have been supporting with Subsidy? The Majority of Malawians are poor and cannot afford to pay taxes for their Land,” said Trapence.
“Bring Laws that can address corruption on how Land is acquired. Malawians will not tolerate this nonsense,” he added.
“Where is Malawi heading to? We have water crisis, black outs and hunger and our leadership has no clue on how he can resolve the crisis apart from the same old song. Malawians say no to Chamwaka on your own Land.”
Leader of Opposiiton in parliament, Lazarous Chakwera told reporters he and the other opposition MPs were let down with the way government handled the whole issue.
“The problem is that some of the pieces of this legislation have anomalies. We have freehold land, much of which was acquired before independence. Then we have the issue of customary land, which ordinary Malawians use. According to the Bill, customary land has to be registered. What we are looking for here is fairness,” he said.
Chakwera said bills and laws that are brought in the House must reflect the aspirations of Malawians.
“Government should enact laws in the best interest of Malawians,” he said.
When President Bingu wa Mutharika won a second term of office in 2009, his DPP administration used its numbers in Parliament to introduce what the opposition said were bad laws which included the Injunctions Act, the Flag Amendments Act, the Police Act and a law giving powers to the Minister of Information to ban any publication deemed not to be in the public interest.
The so-called bad laws, alongside the changes in national flag, were immediately reversed after former president Joyce Banda assumed office on April 7 2012 after the death of Mutharika on April 5.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :