Malawi investigates land grab report by multinationals

President Peter Mutharika ordered investigations into reports that big name multinationals are grabbing land from poor smallholder farmers to diversify from tobacco farming.

President Mutharika with BBC's journalist Badawi after 'Hard Talk'

President Mutharika with BBC’s journalist Badawi after ‘Hard Talk’

Mutharika ordered investigations after reports issued by land rights organisations such as ActionAid Malawi and LandNet Malawi earlier this year indicated that Malawi had entered into an agreement through the G8 New Alliance Initiative to release 200 000 hectares of large-scale commercial agriculture land by 2015.

The organisations have said the initiative, which Malawi signed up for, was against the backdrop of proven research that 11 percent of the country’s population has no access to land for subsistence farming.

However, Mutharika in an interview with British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Hardtalk programme, dismissed such reports.

The Malawi leader questioned the credibility of the LandNet Malawi organisation which BBC journalist Zeinab Badawi quoted.

“Grabbed by multinationals? Who is grabbing? Well, I just don’t think that’s true. Some of these civil society organisations [CSOs] should be questioned on how they analyse issues,” said Mutharika.

“ There is a law on how land is going to be alienated. No foreigner can acquire land except in cases where they are going to industrialise for a certain amount of time,” he added.

Badawi cited Nyasa Times article which indicated for 35 years now, more than 400 subsistence farmers at Chisita in Malawi’s central region have been traversing the country’s courts, nongovernmental organisations and the offices of the Ombudsman in a bid to reclaim 600 hectares of land, which Illovo Malawi occupied in 1979.

But Mutharika dismissed the report and said that Peter Kaunda, who the Nyasa Times story quoted as having his land grabbed, probably did not exist.

Mutharika, however, said his government will investigate the matter.

“If he does exists this so called Peter Kaunda, maybe he does, if he does we will investigate. Its first time I am hearing this,” said Mutharika.

There are two land bills which were due to be tabled in Parliament during the just-ended meeting, but have been pushed to the next sitting.

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ganganfuno
Guest

Even here in zomba, lots of lands are in hands of greaks why malawi why

Zambulo
Guest

Don’t forget Malawi Mangoes in Salima. They grabbed a lot of land from the people. That land is gone for good. Yet this company does not grow for Malawians.

chigawenga
Guest

Stupid mnchona who has no clue about land idsues in our country.Machende basi akumuvuta uyu. How can he dismiss issues without investigation. Too naive and yoo corrupt to think rationally.

Keen Observer
Guest

It’s true that he doesn’t know cos he was not around that time. During Kamuzu Band’s time a lot of people were moved forcibly from their customary land without any compensation for what thought to be development programs. So the issue of Illovo is just one of them. In essence government doesn’t have land & who is government???

Tina
Guest

Just that, has ordered investigations as if real report will come. Corrupted small peace of thing you call Country. Mozambique should recolonise again idiotic Malawi

chakwela
Guest

Welesiki sinathe Thyolo ndi mulanje anthu akumangidwa malo ali awo anzungu akusowetsa mtendere a Malawi go and see

so
Guest

But these are not allegations but facts abwana muluukana chiani apa.

Felix
Guest

Shame on u munthalika idont knw wts going on

haward
Guest

In Lilongwe Bumda in the village of Mkwinda chief are conniving with the buyers to snach peoples farming land to sell them and building their houses. Its so pathetic villagers has no say to this malpractise.

Zikatha
Guest

The president knows little about his country than Zainab

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