Local business traders in the capital city Lilongwe has grabbed land belonging to an Asian businessman in Malangalanga which is to be shared among them.
According to the ‘land grab ‘group spokesperson, Fredrick Malata, they are going to share the land to develop it and build their shops
Malata said they decided to grab the land because it has been staying idle for over 12 years.
In an interview monitored on Dziko FM, Malata said as Malawians doing their trade in the country, they cannot been lacking space to expand their businesses when someone who is not a Malawian can afford to keep the land for 12 years without developing it.
He said the land grabbed from the Asian will be shared to over 100 local traders who will build their shops and they will employ over 600 Malawians at the site.
“If government fails to empower its own people, we will take it in our hands and empower ourselves,” said Malata.
A visit by Nyasa Times reporters at the site on Sunday morning found hundreds of Lilongwe traders clearing the land with a hired tractor ready to share each other plots.
According to another lady found on the site, she came in Lilongwe at the age of 17 and found the place still undeveloped till now when she is 31 years old.
“It is a good idea to share this land and develop,” said the lady, who could not identify herself.
The ‘land grab’ took place as parliament discussed the New Land Bill which comprises five separate Bills, among them the Land Bill, the Registered Land (Amendment) Bill, the Physical Planning Bill, the Land Survey Bill and the Land Acquisition (Amendment) Bill.
The Land Bill, which has made several concessions on contentious issues, including foreign ownership of land, women’s rights and the role of chiefs in the administration of customary land, was referred to parliamentary committees of Agriculture, Lands, legal affairs and others for a proper scrutiny and input before it passes into law.
Controller of Lands, Kwame Ngwira, said to prevent the scenario where indigenous Malawians are out priced by rich foreigners, the Bill has moved to regulate the pricing of land apart by making it a requirement for any land sales to be published in newspapers and Malawians given priority,
In 2012, then minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development Henry Phoya said the Bill will bar all foreign nationals from owning land in the country, but that the Bill would only allow foreigners to access land through lease agreements solely for investment purposes.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :