Versatile Karonga Central MP Frank Mwenifumbo has made scathing attack on government for allegedly harassing the landless in Thyolo and Mulanje who stand up to demand for their rights.
Mwenifumbo, in an interview said the government should stop arresting and harassing those who are demanding their land back from the powerful and the rich owners of tea estates in the two tea growing districts.
“This is against what John Chilembwe stood for. We commemorate John Chilembwe Day year in year out yet we do against what he fought for in this country,” said Mwenifumbo.
He was referring to the Chilembwe uprising of 1915 when the maverick US trained pastor led the uprising angry with thangata system, the grabbing of land for the growing of tea by the whites, among others.
Mwenifumbo suggested there should be a special fund in Mulanje and Thyolo that would act as a social fund to help those affected by the land grabbing.
“The two districts are not benefitting from the tea in the two districts because all the money realised from the tea estates through taxes goes straight into Account number one,” he said. Mwenifumbo said once voted into power, Alliance for Democracy (Aford) would investigate the issue thoroughly and give back the land to the rightful owners if proved it was grabbed. He said Aford would not back and defend the powerful and rich tea growers but would instead back and defend the poor and the landless.
Vincent Wandale, the leader of Peoples Land Organisation faces several charges in the courts for leading a crusade in Thyolo and Mulanje to grab land from tea estate owners.