Malawi ex-VP KK blasts Land Bills as Minister Muluzi engages MPs, CSOs, Chiefs

Minister of Land, Housing and Urban Development Atupele Muluzi  on Monday said government  is optimistic of a brighter Malawi once new land related bills are enacted to law but former vice president Khumbo Kachale (KK)differed with the minister and said government legistlation on land is reaping the already impoverished citizens .

Atupele:  Engages stakeholders

Atupele: Engages stakeholders

Muluzi was speaking in Lilongwe when he opened a one day all inclusive sensitization meeting on land related laws and bills where various stakeholders including Member of Parliaments, Civil Society, Chiefs drawn across the country to say their views on the proposed land bills.

Muluzi wondered how Malawi could develop if customary land continue being under the state.

He said:  “The land laws that are currently in use says that land is under the state which means that people do not have the right to own land per say. But the proposed land laws 2016 that if approved will be in law gives the mandate to the people to own land.

“It is when people own land the country will develop because people will fully utilize their land as they will know it’s their land, and in so doing the country will develop.”

Reacting on the proposed land laws, MPs and chiefs present at the meeting thinks otherwise as they pointed out a number of things that government ought to amend on the proposed bill.

Former Vice President of Malawi Khumbo Kachali thought it was time for government to consider putting in place laws that will benefit Malawians rather than yielding more from poor Malawians.

“I tend to differ with you honorable Minister. You are saying the new land bill seeks to help Malawians have a say on their land. This bill is nothing but reaping from the poor Malawians.

“Section 27 (c) of the proposed bill indicate that people will be paying if they want to register for their own land, but in all the presentations here, nothing of that sort has been mentioned,” wondered Kachali, adding that, “during the last seating of Parliament when we were debating for the other land bill before it was passed, we pointed out a number of issues that we said ought to be changed, but it was not changed.”

Senior Chief Kapeni expressed his concern saying there ought to be enough consultations from the chiefs before the bills enacted to law.

“When we say chieftaincy we mean ownership of land, and as I have learnt here land will no longer be under chiefs but a shared ownership and am afraid this might be the end of chieftaincy,” he wondered.

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9 thoughts on “Malawi ex-VP KK blasts Land Bills as Minister Muluzi engages MPs, CSOs, Chiefs”

  1. Kent Y.G. Mphepo, Blantyre says:

    Countrymen,

    I fail to understand what Hon. Atupele Muluzi is trying to achieve through these consultations. What I expected was that these consultations would have been carried out before the bill was passed into law in Parliament. My thinking is that Government (ruling elite) have now come to realize that they jumped the gun in running these bills through Parliament. They now have come face to face with political repercussions of their hurried decision. They want to force this law down our throats. But, in my view, if a piece of law is bad, it is simply bad. No sugarcoating will make it good for Malawians. By the way, why are they insisting on it if the citizenry is against it?!

    Being a former employee of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources who participated in developing a civic education campaign around the Land Bills in question in 2008, I am dismayed at the half-truths that are being peddled by the pro-government politicians about this bill. For example, they keep telling the public that the bill gives chiefs and Malawians all authority over their land parcels and that government will not have any authority over their land parcels and that chiefs will maintain their authority over land. This is just not true. Any serious reader of the laws will soon discover that the law actually says that “all land vests in the President” and it provides for a “land tribunal” to which the chiefs are mere advisors (not members) unless they tell me that they have recently removed these clauses. Again, this law says nothing about freehold land parcels that white settlers obtained from unsuspecting chiefs who could not tell their right from their left way back in the 1890s and early 1900s. Let’s face it: in those days chiefs were not educated as white settlers were and had no idea about the intentions of white farmers. By the way, Government is not telling the public that during the consultations, in 2000, Malawians resolved to get back the freehold land from the white settlers but government did not put this resolution into consideration when taking the law to Parliament!

    By the way, by merely looking at the definition of “land” (which includes vegetation, soil, minerals, air space over my plot, etc) it would be insane for Government to completely abrogate its authority over land (as Atupele wants the public to believe) because without authority over “land” no government on earth would claim sovereignty over any territory. Come to think of it: how would government adequately exercise its “right of re-entry” over a piece of land (like when it wants to built a school, a road, hospital, airport, etc for the public good) if all (or part of) authority over land in a country were given to or shared with citizens (as these politicians are claiming to have done)? What we know is that “all land” in the world vests in the Governments of the day and the same is the case in Malawi and this is what the law clearly says. So, Honorable, start saying the truth about this law because the truth shall always set you free. Start telling Malawians that under the current law land still belongs to Government (as it has always been) not to Malawians as individuals. Those Malawians who will own titles deeds over their ancestral land will be paying land rates to the Landlord – GOVERNMENT – THE OWNER OF LAND and not chiefs. Unlike in the past, when chiefs transacted land on behalf of Government, from the day Peter Mutharika signed for the bill, chiefs will not be able to transact land on behalf of government. Instead, the “land Tribunals,” to which chiefs will NOT be members, WILL MAKE DECISIONS ON BEHALF OF GOVERNMENT. So, the truth is that chiefs have been left in the cold. They have no authority over land following the passing of this bill. They are a notch down. But, not all is lost. Power still rests in the people of Malawi because those who rule do so in trust. So, Hon. Atupele, tell Malawians the truth please. I rest my case.

    Kent Y.G. Mphepo, Blantyre 0888435629.

    1. Chitsiru ichi chikugulitsa dziko basi! Why should fools like these be entrusted with positions of a minister?

    2. Karrim says:

      Chatalika, man. Summary bwanji?

  2. Mbereka says:

    Between consultation and presentation of the Bill, which comes first? Why did Atupele have to rush to present the Bill. So he has his priorities upside down. This is the young man who wanted to command Malawi. If he had won, how was he going to guide the country. Thank God he did not and he may never again.

  3. Maunits says:

    When we say Head of State we mean commanding the land and boundary of Malawi. That is why Chiefs are under government, that is why there is local government to look after land. S if people will start pay their land means that there is no state and chiefs because a chief can not come at my land and settle or have any say on that no no no no no. Such laws are bad laws that don’t need to be tolerated at all in Malawi. Atupele is under pressure because Malawians don’t need this bill. We have wrong people to run government affairs.

  4. [email protected] says:

    Why is Atupele sensitising MPs? I thought the bill was debated in parliament and the MPs were part of it. Secondly, Atupele should not have rushed to present the bill to parliament. He should have given more time for the consultations like what he is doing now. Mutharika equally rushed to sign the bill.
    We are back to square one. You wanted to please the donors . Do you see the back rush?

  5. Mapwevupwevu says:

    Khumbo Kachale ndi munthu wopanda nzeru! Ndi ndani amene asakudziwa zimenezi?

  6. Chambe says:

    I tend to agree with Minister on the ownership of land. But more clarity on this ownership if it extends deep down beyond the level of caltivation. If under my land are minerals,who will be the owner of those minerals? Currently all minerals belong to the Government by virtue of all land belonging to the government I suppose. Government gets royalties. In the new laws to be, who will be receiving these royalties?Can you clarify on Honorable Minister?

    1. CONTE says:

      This is another useless and greedy Minister.

Comments are closed.