Malawians to start paying tax for their land: Parliamentary vote divides family

Malawians under the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government will be forced to pay tax to their inherited land as government bill proposes that all land owners under customary land will be forced to register before start paying.

Shanil Dzimbiri Voted no

Shanil Dzimbiri Voted no

Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development Atupele Muluzi on Wednesday found himself on a collision course with his step mother Patricia Dzimbiri during a parliamentary roll call vote.

Deputy speaker Esther Mcheka Chilenje ordered the roll call after the government and opposition legislators could not agree on whether to amend a clause on a Lands bill or not.

The bill wants people to pay a fee for customary land but the opposition vehemently rejected this, saying ordinary poor people could not afford to pay money for their own ancestral land.

During the roll call, Muluzi, who presented the bill in the House, voted that people should pay for the customary land whilst Dzimbiri voted no.

Dzimbiri was married to former head of state Bakili Muluzi, father to Atupele for many years before they divorced some years back.

During the roll call, government chief whip Henry Mussa was accused of intimidating some MPs, including Chitipa Central MP to vote yes.

Leader for the Peoples’ Party (PP) in the house Uladi Mussa wondered why the government Chief whip was doing to the opposition side during the voting time.

Chilenje had to order the Labour minister immediately leave his undesignated place where he went to lobby for a yes vote and get back to his ministerial seat in the House.

The deputy speaker therefore announced the results saying “out of 124 members present, 59 (oppositions) said ‘no’ to the votes while 65 (government) voted yes, therefore tt the end of the parliamentary vote, the government side, who voted yes, won the roll call.

The bill will reduce the power of traditional leaders according to some Malawians.

However, the bill could not be passed because after it was after five in the afternoon so when government deputy  chief whip Grace Chiumia asked for extension of time in order to pass the bill, Speaker put the question on the floor as is tradition on whether to extend the time or not and in a move of tit for tat, the opposition ganged up and defeated the motion, meaning the House was to adjourn immediately, to which it did.

The House meets Thursday to continue with government business.

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12 thoughts on “Malawians to start paying tax for their land: Parliamentary vote divides family”

  1. mangulenje says:

    this bill is very gud to malawians as it removes the unsetteled disputes that are there on the grund, vuto ndilakuti kumalawi kuno chilichonse timalowesa ndale. think of it, we say we’re poor planners but this bill will solve that problem coz Malawi will be declared planning area and things will normalize. aliyese adzakhala ndimalo ake mwaufulu osati kuzondedwa ndimafumu adyelawa. people will access loan in the banks and they will use the very same land as collateral.

  2. Trendex says:

    ENOCK CHIHANA WAS RIGHT FOR FEDERALISM BECAUSE SUCH SILLY THINGS CANNOT HAPPEN IN SUCH SPACE. MAY BE IT WILL WORK IN SOUTHERN REGION WHERE PEOPLE MULTIPLY AS IF PIGS. MZIMBA IS A KINGDOM AND GOVERNMENT CAN HAVE NO INTERFERENCE OVER THE LAND. KAYA ZANU ZIMENEZO. CHINU ACHEBE WAS RIGHT WHEN HE SAID-“THINGS FALL APART IN OKWONKWO’S COMPOUND AND THE CENTRE CANNOT HOLD—“

  3. chonchobe says:

    VERY UNFAIR TO ALL MALAWIANS. PLEASE MAKE GOOD DECISIONS FOR PEOPLE YOU ARE REPRESENTING.

  4. Bob says:

    stupid bill. where can the local man get the money to pay for there own land in an economic situation where money is scarce and people are getting poorer.

  5. Angozo says:

    This Government has done nothing but failed the people of Malawi, how do they expect a poor man who lives on less than a dollar a day be able to pay tax for the land which he owns or maybe this is just a ploy to grab the land from the poor Malawians and sale it to the rich and might in the society, apart from the tax which Malawians are paying monthly leaving them with nothing to take home they still want to take more from that.

    How cruel can this Government be, is it a sin that we were born in Malawi? Are we being punished for being Malawians?

  6. Mwananyanian says:

    This proposal , as it is reported here, is unwise. Utterly stupid. And it feeds into the narrative of APM’s detractors that he doesn’t understand politics, and he doesn’t know what he’s doing in the broad picture of governing.
    Simply a nonstarter. DPP would lose the next election, in 2019, on this basis alone! No kidding. Just ask bao players! Ninety nine per cent of Malawians would be affected by this: bad news Brown.
    Just because APM told Ministers to work hard and find new sources of revenue does not justify this tax grab, by any measure of fairness.
    Some salient questions:-
    -What services does the government provide on the inherited traditional land, to justify taxation?
    -This questions leads to the famous “No tax, no representation” – broadly interpreted.
    -The second question has been known to lead to political revolutions. You know that?
    -What happens if the land is not productive; like abandoned (thengo llkulepo) just left uncultivated?
    -Is the tax then an opportunity cost – for depriving the nation of whatever could have grown there?
    -How would the government enforce the law in (very, very many) situations of non payment?
    -If the owner cannot afford to pay (and our subsistence farming is simply that), what happens then?
    -Would the government confiscate the land? And then do what with it? Give it to some “foreigner”? -Since by tradition, the land has to stay in the broad family or clan, chances are the next owner can’t afford the tax either. Then what? Down the ladder of inheritance until…?

    -What kind of politicians do we have in this country? In the governing Party? Whoever bureaucrat came up with this idea should be sent off on “medical” leave (or insert any reason, even insulting reason here) for a while. And the Minister who accepted this idea should be given a first warning!

    Chaponda, Kaliati, kalilani, Ntaba, Mhango et al. please talk to APM. And stop this nonsense before more people start believing what they are often told: like he doesn’t understand the common Malawian, because he lived away for too long. Before it is too late.

    1. Kanthu Ako! says:

      I do not understand how people like you always blame the ruling party.

      DPP has only 50 MPs in the house, and this issue of land if it was important as you suggest, why was the opposition absent? If 65 MPs voted in favour, it means at least 5 that voted in favour were opposition MPs. If only DPP members voted for the motion, even with 124 present, they were going to be defeated.

      The fault is not DPPs but opposition, if you can not see that, then we will always be here crying about one thing or the other and blaming the wrong people.

      1. Jacqueline says:

        DPP does not have 50 MPs only coz other Independent MPs joined the ruling party and others again disbanded their parties, meaning they are more than what you think.

      2. Gama says:

        Inunso a Kanthu Ako nzeru zikukucheperani. Nkhani apa ndi yoti Boma la DPP labweretsa bill yoti anthu adzikhoma msonkho pa malo oti adapatsidwa ndi azigogo awo. Mmalo modzudzula kuyipa kwa bill imeneyi inu mukufuna kuti oyipa akhalebe a opposition. Inu pa nzeru zanu zowona mungamadzudzule anthu oti anayesera kumenya nkhondo mmalo modzudzula nzeru zobweretsera bill yonyansayi? Ndakhumudwa nanu. Kusapota zipani osamangosapota ngati mukusapota matimu ampira. Bill imeneyi ikhudza abale athu including your relations, unless if you are not a Malawian. I am disappointed with your shallow mind.

      3. Mmalawi says:

        The problem can not be the Opposition but the Ruling party because they should not even have contemplated the bill in the first place, let alone bring it up for debate in Parliament

      4. Mwananyanian says:

        The law was proposed by DPP, was it not? Sure, you blame everybody who voted for it; but the party that proposed it deserves the blame. And deserve to lose the next election! Asa.
        And APM is that leader of that Party, so the blame goes up the ladder – in any organization.
        What’s wrong with this line of thought?

Comments are closed.