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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16 thoughts on “Malawi investigates land grab report by multinationals”

  1. ganganfuno says:

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

  2. Zambulo says:

    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.

  3. chigawenga says:

    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.

  4. 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???

  5. Tina says:

    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

  6. chakwela says:

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

  7. so says:

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

  8. Felix says:

    Shame on u munthalika idont knw wts going on

  9. haward says:

    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.

  10. Zikatha says:

    The president knows little about his country than Zainab

  11. Chingolopiyo says:

    How can he entervene yet he is also involved with Mota Engil? How came the gvt waits for foreigners to ask for it to entervene? Know your people and their problems Mr President!

  12. Prince Edward rsa says:

    Pitala knows nothing about malawis history so if you ask him he cant answer correctly bcoz he is a president by surprise or by accident thru lucky

  13. cashgate1 says:

    The president is clueless, so he may not know what is happening on land issues. May be he is also part and parcel of those who are grabbing land.

  14. DPP guys are behind it what do you expect?

  15. Mtundu Wanga says:

    Mutharika was quick to dismiss the report. He attacked the credibility of the CSOs which did the research and attacked Nyasatimes for publishing the story, warning Zainab not to quote from such dubious publications. At that point Zainab lectured the clueless professor saying: Why are you attacking the report? Can’t you, as Government, investigate the report to find out if this issue is true? The report clearly mentions names, can’t you at least investigate? It was at this point that the incompetent Malawian swallowed his pride and said, if PETER Kaunda existed, we are going to investigate. Thank you Zainab for teaching our president lessons in governance, which his advisers fail to do. Thank you APM for taking your lessons seriously. Pleased don’t use the investigation as a way to siphon our taxes by appointing your cronies and paying them hefty fees. We want the report of the investigation to be made public within 30 days Mr. President

  16. tan'gatan'ga says:

    Mota Engil through greedy Chiefs has grabbed thousands of hectares in Dedza lakeshore area. PLEASE INTERVENE.

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