The Church of Central African Presbyterian (CCAP)Livingstonia Synod has asked President Peter Mutharika not to assent to the Land Bill which was passed by Parliament alongside other Land-related Bills.
The call was made by Synod moderator Douglous Chipofya during the Umthetho Cultural Festival at Hora in Mzimba district on Saturday.
Rev Chipofya said some of the provision in the Customary Land Bill will make Malawias lose their land, which some of them was inherited from their forefathers and accused government of not making thorough consulattions before taking the bills to parliament.
“Let us maintain our cultural values and you cannot separate land if you wat to talk about culture, whose custodians are the vry chiefs we are celebrating today,” he said, adding “may God help us jealously safeguard our cultural values.”
He said land is crucial to Malawian culture and as such” inheritance of land from parents to children should not be disturbed.
Chipofya cited Holy Bible in Numbers 27: 1-11 which talks about maintaining cultural values of inheritance.
The synod’s call comes after chiefs is the Northern Region, notably Inkosi ya Makosi M’mbelwa V of Mzimba and Paramount Chief Chikulamayembe of Rumphi, faulted government for consulting them when the bill has bee passed.
They ssaid they need to consult their counterparts, including Paramount Chief Kyungu, so they speak with one voice on the matter.
The opposition have argued that some amendments will strip chiefs of their authority over land.
Leader of the opposition Lazarus Chakwera said the appeal by Livingstonia Synod shows that chiefs as owners of the land, were not taken aboard during formulation of the bill.
He said the traditional leaders chieftaincy history is enshrined in their land and it is their ancestors who first developed it.
Chakwera cautioned Mutharika’s government to tread carefyllly on matters of national interest to that they are not seen to be doing a disservice to the people they are meant to serve – tax payers citizens.
Mzimba Hora MP, Rev Christopher Mzomera Ngwira also noted that the Lad Bill has several set backs, saying he feels the administration of customary land w will bring many problems for the rulers.
Ngwira said the views byLivingstonia Synod represents the general feeling of many people in the rural Malawi.
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