Malawi ‘land grab’: Traders move in on Asian land

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.

Malata we will share the land to Malawian traders to utilise it

Malata we will share the land to Malawian traders to utilise it

The tractor on the land

The tractor on the land

Traders to share land in Lilongwe

Traders to share land in Lilongwe

The woman says for 13 years she has seen the land not developed

The woman says for 13 years she has seen the land not developed

Locals watch the land grab

Locals watch the land grab

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.

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Vitumbiko Vyane
Guest
Vitumbiko Vyane
5 months 23 days ago
I strongly support Winston Msowoya’s views on land grabs in our country.The views of one Indian known as S 786 is both arrogant and uneducated.He stressed that his fellow Indians who went to Britain are living good life there.The question is why is he in our country and why can’t he join them in the UK.Malawi and Africa (Sub Saharan Africa) are the richest in natural resources and the land expansion on earth that is why every human being wants to come to Africa to steal our riches.There are no Africans for instance in India,Pakistan and China living there for… Read more »
Winston Msowoya
Guest
Winston Msowoya
5 months 23 days ago
S786,in the first place it seems to me you are an Indian without credible education and let me tell you that,”a good Indian is that who is six feet deep”.This remark emanated from the UK where you claim to be respected.In Malawi too,time is approaching,you are here because you managed to corrupt our so-called leaders.You saw what General Idd Amin did to your friends in Uganda and thanks Britain,Australia and New Zealand for their generosity,no other countries in the world welcomed you.All you are saying are bloody lies that is why you were daylight rejected by African nations. We know… Read more »
Don
Guest
Don
5 months 24 days ago
I had no idea that we had ‘Asian Land’ in Malawi. I wonder if there is Malawian land in Asia. The sense of patriotism and proprietorship is so low in some of us that we don’t even notice when we see our country being referred to as Asian land. Is it any wonder that we are forfeiting our birhtright to foreigners at give-away prices? Under dubious circumstances? Fellow Malawians let us agree on one thing. It does not matter if a foreigner has bought our land, it will always be Malawian land owned by a foreigner. It will never become… Read more »
S786
Guest
S786
5 months 24 days ago
Mr Winston Msowoya whoever u are let me remind u Asians/Indians are not desperate to have lands in Malawi or come from india or UK to take ur lands. We don’t need ur lands. In fact Asians that left Malawi had nothing in Malawi. Whn they reached they lives got better,if u thinking that all Asians/Indians are trying to grab ur lands ur thinking is stupidity. As I said, many who left for UK are happy there. If u were to insultany indian or person from other race in UK. U wud be shot dead. Or arrested. Think next time… Read more »
Land Grab And Abuse Alert
Guest
Land Grab And Abuse Alert
5 months 24 days ago
Another unfortunate development is taking place along Mchinji road especially the Njewa area where locals are selling land to foreigners who are slowly turning the are into an industrial zone putting up anything from warehouses to factories and yet the villagers continue to squeeze themselves in the same area. Has Government ever thought about the potential for industrial accidents which could affect the people in this area? And why should foreigners be allowed to buy customary land and run away from paying property rates in urban land? Government should quickly move in to control what is happening in this area… Read more »
Che Wanimiliyoni
Guest
Che Wanimiliyoni
5 months 24 days ago

AMalawi timaganiza mopelewera bwanji? Muzigawana chinthu nzanu nchikore chakubanki anamangira factory. Muononga tima 2 Kwacha tanuto a bank apita ku court azasesa tizisakasa tanuto. By the way a city mukusekelera zimenezi? Ziri ndimadrawing zomwe akumangazo and when did you grant them Planning Permission? And amwenye timawadawa sanafune kukhala mtaunitu ndife tomwe tinaathamangitsa mmamidzi mwathumo kut azikhala ku BT, LL ndi ZA nde mmati mmalo azikagula kuti? Ndetu sitinati tauni yonse agula obwera kulibwino mMalawi kugulitsa nyumba yake ku Area 3 at K100 million nkukamanga nyumba 20 kwaChinsapo rent iliyonse K40,000 pamwezi.

Winston Msowoya
Guest
Winston Msowoya
5 months 24 days ago
Instead of progressing,Malawians are regressing after 52years of nationhood.This conundrum has tragically put Malawians on the edge.Where in Africa today people randomly sell lands to foreigners especially Asians who have in records,worse way of living as true human beings.First and foremost,LAND is the most sententious gift God has created for his creatures not only human beings,but to every living ctreature.We must be very vigilant to defend and protect our fertile lands not for us only,but also the future generations.We know that when you welcome an Asian in your house,you invite the beast incarnate.All the wars which had been fought in… Read more »
Felix
Guest
Felix
5 months 24 days ago
This is a good example why Malawi does not prosper and will continue to be one of the poorest countries in the world, Why is it that a Malawian is entitled to free land especially in Lilongwe,without cost, This is theft no other word for it, just as if someone entered your house, Many chiefs will provide land in a remote district to ensure the land is utilized, Governments seize land for roads and other uses but before they do they compensate the owner, Malawians are provided free land in their home villiage yet Malawians expect to take land outside… Read more »
Byson
Guest
Byson
5 months 24 days ago

tadzibetsani malowo pangono pangono .kuteloko adzazunzike ndim,bado winawo osati inu adzaka makumi atatunu ayi.Inu m battery Lori law kale.

.ustafa
Guest
.ustafa
5 months 24 days ago
I do strongly hate those who say Malawian of Asian origin what I know is that a dog is a dog even if u take it to any country it can’t change its name foreigners are foreigners even if they can stay in Malawi for billion years. In the bible the Israelites stayed a number of years in Egypt some born and dead in Egyptian but they were still called Israelites . so its not wise to say amalawi tisiye kubelekana kwambiri yet you do allow foreigners to come to Malawi to ocupy our land of which mmaiko mwawo anaderekana… Read more »
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