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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29 thoughts on “Malawi ‘land grab’: Traders move in on Asian land”

  1. Vitumbiko Vyane says:

    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 there is nothing attractive to magnetize people (AFRICANS).So Africa with gargantuan God given riches,is regarded as the Mecca of our planet whether you like it or not.So when you are in Malawi,you must respect our generosity or else,you can pack up and go to your corrupt countries.We know why you are in our country,your job is to unlawfully smuggle our hard-fetched FOREX and saying sarcastically: NDALAMA WATU,ZDIKO WANU.That is thanks Malawians.Anyway,you have managed to corrupt our leaders and therefore,you have grown deep roots to avoid apprehension.GOOD LUCK CHAM !!!

  2. Winston Msowoya says:

    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 what you are doing in our country,yourjob is to illegally transfer our FOREX to your kinsmen in the U.K.and other foreign lands .So stop trying to cajole the people of Malawi with your filthy and ungrammatical English.AFRICA for AFRICANS and INDIA FOR INDIANS.You do not see Africans in your countries.Why,life is intorelable in you corrupt-infested World.LEAVE US ALONE!!!

  3. Don says:

    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 Asian land, British land, American land, Tanzanian land as long as it is within our borders.We need to re-educate our people otherwise the struggle for a better life for all Malawians will be futile. Can you imagine an outsider reading that headline – Malawian traders grab Asian land.It makes it seem that Malawians are the ones in the wrong when they actually have valid reasons for repossessing that land.Outsiders just laugh at us.Tikosowa poyambila.

  4. S786 says:

    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 before saying

  5. Land Grab And Abuse Alert says:

    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 and ensure that the land is being used only for purposes that has no potential to harm those who don’t have the intention to sell their land and want to continue staying there. What is happening there is also an indication that there is huge demand for warehouse space and can’t government find land so that there should be proper development and above all the developers should pay appropriate taxes.

  6. Che Wanimiliyoni says:

    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.

  7. Winston Msowoya says:

    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 Africa from our forefathers’ aeon to ourselves,were to take our Lands back from the landgrabers.Asians,are heavily populated in their lands and therefore,they are viciously looking to Africa (SUBSAHARAN AFRICA) for settlements.So Malawians,we have to be united and protect our lands from these rats and if the so-called leaders do not intercede,we have to use anything at our disposal to take back our lands.THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES!!!

  8. Felix says:

    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 their village.

    They’ll be killings and disputes in the future with a higher population, think of all the wars and death because someone wanted your land,

    Stay in the dark ages, stay poor, stay undeveloped for no other countries want peoples attitudes like this,

  9. Byson says:

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

  10. .ustafa says:

    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 mkudzadzanamu and they come here to stay in the name of business “GOVERNMENT WAKEUP FROM SLUMBER AND PROTECT YOUR CITIZEN”

  11. LAW says:

    THIS IS LAWLESSNESS, I AM A MALAWIAN WHO BOUGHT LAND AT NRC IN LL 10 YEARS AGO. JUST LAST WEEK THE LAND WAS ILLEGALLY SOLD BY THE VILLAGERS, I WILL FIGHT IT IN COURT TILL I HAVE MY LAND BACK.
    LETS LEARN TO RESPECT THE LAW.

  12. vavlov says:

    How easy would it be for a Malawian to buy land in India? Do Indians bring real development besides scheming the country by repatriating money overseas. They live in secluded areas, and do not respect the locals. So, honestly I have no sympathy on an Indian losing land. This should apply to Nigerians as well, Malawi will have 50m people by 2050, where will these people live if land is being sold to foreigners?

  13. Banda says:

    Zimbabwe brought in a similar law many years ago and that country is now suffering food shortages and minimum of foreign investment,

    The foreigner paid money to someone did that not benefit a Malawian?

    A very bad undertaking as there is alot of vacant government land in Malawi can anyone land grab it? Likely not,

  14. I salute and give credit to group leader who facilitated this move,I would like to advise u that war is not over .This country need people who’re strong & fearless people like these landless people.Malawians should not suffer because of few land or city planning officers.Those who own land that has been idle for many years should expect that again.

  15. Zoona says:

    I have never seen a people as daft as Malawians. Am a Rwandese living in this peaceful country. Disappointingly everybody can own land regardless of where they come from. Why should a lebanese own large tracts of land? Did Malawi invite Asians to come to this country? Which is the investment bu Asians in this country. I thank God for giving us Paul Kagame we dont tolerate such nonsense. As long as Malawians are ruled by dull leaders locals will always suffer.

  16. Fanny says:

    Please grab all land which is owned by these foreigners, Malawians can not own land in their country. They shouldn’t take us for granted….

  17. Titele says:

    People from a particular region are selling lands to fellow foreigners in the country.

  18. expat says:

    MALAWI AND MALAWIANS ARE A BASKET OF NUT CASES…

    THEY TALK ABOUT DEVELOPMENT AND ENCOURAGE FOREIGN INVESTORS TO COME AND INVEST THEN THEY TREAT FOREIGNERS LIKE THIS!.. THE FOREIGNER BOUGHT THE LAND… IT BELONGS TO HIM… THE SAD THING ABOUT THIS IS THAT THE JUDICIARY IS SO CORRUPT AND XENOPHOBIC THAT THE COURT WILL NOT HELP THIS ASIAN MAN.. THE COURT WILL PLAY A GAME OF DELAY AND ALL SORT OF NASTINESS SO THAT THE MALAWIANS WILL BENEFIT IN THEIR GOALS.. LET THIS STORY BE A LESSON FOR OTHER FOREIGNERS TO NOT INVEST IN MALAWI AS ITS A PRIMITIVE UNCIVILIZED WILD PLACE WHERE THERE ARE NO LAWS AND HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IS WHAT THEY PRACTICE !..

    THERE ARE BETTER PLACES TO RESEARCH AND INVEST TODAY SUCH AS: TANZANIA, MOZAMBIQUE, RWANDA AND ANGOLA..

    MALAWIAN CULTURE IS FULL OF JEALOUSY, CORRUPTION AND EVIL OF ALL KIND..THERE SEEMS TO BE NO PROBLEM WITH MALAWIANS WHO SIT ON LAND FOR MANY MANY YEARS NEVER DEVELOPING IT…. BUT A FOREIGNER WHO BUYS LAND LEGALLY IS NOT AFFORDED THE SAME RIGHTS IN THIS TYPE OF CASE OR EVEN AS A RESIDENT OR INVESTOR IN THE COUNTRY..

    A FAILED STATE THAT SHOULD BE ISILATED FROM THE WORLD

  19. john chalila says:

    please Nyasatimes stop calling them land – grabbers, they are landless people.

  20. Perv says:

    The owner wil go 2 court kenako akakumangani mudziti boma lalakwitsa. malo samawola musiyileni mwini wake

  21. Land grabing may sound a good move for those who to benefit from this mafia style move , I warn the Malawi government to beware of the fellow Zimbabwean scenario where large tracts of land lay fallow due to failure to utilise the land. The first thing to do is to find out from the owner and hear his mind about the and reason for him to take so long to develop it. Mind you he bought the land. Wouldn’t it be fair for the government to purchase it back and share it to those in need. Do not create a precedent whose reapercasions will be unpleasant for all. Isn’t it true , that we learn from other people’s mistakes. Don’t disturb the true credibility of the warm heart of Africa.

  22. c says:

    at the end the Law will take its course

  23. Concerned says:

    At the end Three quarters of Malawi will be in the hands of foreigners. Its no good owning land and never develop it . This is detrimental to development.
    What does the law say on that?

  24. Buyelekhaya says:

    Land grabs-way to go!

  25. Buyelekhaya says:

    @ Ze Roberto, you are spot. A case in point is in Mchesi and Biwi townships. Some foreigners have invaded these residential areas and are putting up commercial and residential structures. That’s how locals are being displaced! In five years time Mchesi, particulary, would have been owned by these foreigners!

  26. Town rat says:

    This coming sartuday we getting back a plot in limbe which used to be a park but now it was fraudently sold to Mr Faiza a malawian of indian origin whom we can now call Mr Limbe cause he now owns almost half of all the buildings and plots in limbe, citizen empowerment!

  27. chinkombaleza gumanyundo gowa says:

    My friend he is not a foreigner He is a Malawian resident. Secondly, Its his land with legal documents. Let the law take its course. Grabbing land without without proper procedures is wrong. Where did they get this authority to grab this land. Government must not allow this. Show them that what they have done is wrong. However I want to say that The other problem is with the council. They continue selling land close to inadequate land they own and yet they know they dont have enough space. Eg at Limbe in Blantyre the are selling land to people when they know they don’t have space for minibuses and the market itself.
    Please plan for the future.

  28. Mapwevupwevu says:

    That is a good development😄!

  29. Ze Roberto says:

    It’s only in Malawi where foreigners can easily own land.

Comments are closed.