Outspoken legislator Kamlepo Kalua (PP—Rumphi East) has claimed that the Democratic Progressuve Party (DPP) government has been corrupted by tea estate owners to bulldoze the Land Bill in parliament to be passed and reject amendments that would benefit natives.
The Land Bill was passed in the House on Tuesday after opposition law makers had walked out in protest.
“From what I am hearing, Madam First Deputy Speaker, from the Leader of Government side (George Chaponda) is that we cannot negotiate on the land bill and that it has been passed without the proposed amendments and that they are happy that we have just wasted our time here,” said Kalua when the opposition MPs returned to the House.
“ Even them negotiating with the Leader of Opposition (Lazarous Chakwera), that they are admitting that they have received something from the tea estates owners to that effect,” added Kalua.
There has beestruggle for the repossession of idle land in tea estates of Thyolo and Mulanje.
People Land Organisation (PLO), has been agitating for the local people’s occupation of all idle tea estates land in the districts since its establishment in 2009 and has been demanding that estates owners pay £65 (about K53 000) per acre per year for all used colonial estate land from 1914 to date.
The organisation has also been demanding from the estates owners a wage rate of £6.13 per hour (about K5 000) per individual for those who were involved in Thangata (bonded labour) between 1914 and 1963.
Commenting on the passing of the Land Bill, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) spokesperson and MP, Jessie Kabwila said: “The DPP-led government settled the land bill after opposition said let us protect land for Malawians. They have chosen to sell the land to foreigners and they should sit here and accept that, that is what they have done.”