3 Cabinet ministers, senior MCP and State House officials named in land grabbing cases in Lilongwe

Senior officials at the State House and Tonse Alliance lead partner – Malawi Congress Party (MCP) – have been singled out as main actors in land encroachment and free-for-all distribution of public land currently taking place in Lilongwe.

The newly-appointed Deputy Minister of Lands, Deus Gumba, admitted on Tuesday that State House employees and MCP officials are among people who invaded the land Lilongwe City Council (LCC) designated for a school and clinic at Area 49 in Lillongwe.

Gumba–The law will not spare anyone involved in illegal acquisition of land–Photo by Alfred Chauwa, Nyasa Times

The high-ranked encroachers started constructing their various structures when LCC and community leaders raised an alarm.

The erstwhile governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration received public condemnation for overseeing and entertaining illegal acquisition and free-for-all sharing of public land.

It was relieving therefore to hear the Tonse Alliance then vowing to end this wanton abuse of powers by people entrusted with positions of authority.

However, Nyasa Times has established that apart from perpetuating it, MCP and State House officials are also perfecting the crime, as evidenced by illegal acquisition of huge pieces of land by three senior Cabinet ministers in President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera-led administration.

Nyasa Times is verifying the extent of involvement by the three Cabinet ministers who illegally acquired land along Chidzanja Road Reserve Boundary (RRB), Area 43 and Area 49, respectively.

Efforts by community leaders to stop the ministers from grabbing the land was met with reprisals and threats of “we have the system and we can deal with you at anytime.”

These revelations are coming barely weeks after Nyasa Times reported about senior managers at the Malawi Housing Corporation (MHC) and Lilongwe City Council receiving threats of having their employment terminated for disregarding a directive from Dr. Colleen Zamba to regularize the land she allegedly encroached at Sector 8 of Area 43 in Lilongwe.

Zamba is among respected public officers who are pushing for the regularization of the five plots they illegally acquired on MHC land.

The plot owners, who are calling themselves Concerned Citizens, have been accusing Zamba, who is the Director of Presidential Delivery Unit and Chief Advisor to the President on SDGs and International Affairs in State House, of using her political influence to push MHC to regularize the encroached land.

They appealed to the authorities to institute investigations into the matter.

The newly appointed Deputy Minister of Lands, Deus Gumba, assured that the government would investigate the matter.

Gumba made the remarks after inspecting the encroached land at Area 49 on Tuesday.

He warned that the government will not spare a whip on the people involved in the malpractice.

“The law will not spare anyone,” said Gumba.

However, some residents in both Areas 43 and 49 have cast doubts on the future of the investigation because the ministers involved are “very close allies of President Chakwera”.

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