Chiefs aiding land ‘laundering’ crime in Lilongwe

People looking to buy residential development plots in the city of Lilongwe face a growing wave of land ‘laundering’ crime as senior chiefs have joined criminal groups selling land and plots to more than one individual, Nyasa Times can reveal.

In newly developing Lilongwe’s Area 49, Dubai sector, a group of self-styled land owners are selling plots to several people, and the senior chief, Traditional Authority Chitukula resident in Lumbadzi, is leading the criminal activities propagated by corruption.

T/A Chitukula, whose mandate covers a large area of Lilongwe including Area 49, was arrested before for corruption involvement alongside a T/A in Mchinji connected to farm subsidy programme abuse.

“All one has to do to get anyone’s land is to pay Chitukula. Even buying him beer buys his favours,” said an informant who refused to be named. He said several self-made chiefs and a committee of land owners has been selling  land to more than one person and are supported by corrupt Chitukula who they pay to cover up the issues.

The source added that the group often goes to first plot buyers and cheat them that City Officials of Lands Officials demanded that the plots be developed or sold off to others if current owners left the land fully undeveloped.

“I know one victim who bought land from one Mr. Kalongonda and almost lost it when the greedy self-styled preacher also prying business as a welder tried to sell it to another person. He was lucky because he knew of the plot before hand,” said the source.

Around Mvama area of Dubai, three of the criminal land sellers are Mr. Kalongonda, a Mr. Banda, and a Mr. Boaz.

The source added that Boaz fled the area when two of the owners discovered they had been duped by buying the same plot from the man.

In discussions that went as far as the police, Boaz was ordered to pay back the second plot buyer, to which he failed and fled. He has since been spotted dodging around Dubai trying to sell off his plot inorder to pay back for the crime.

Another scenario is that of a piece of land sold to a soldier which has now been sold to another person, who has quickly developed it and the house is on roofing stage. The soldier has vowed to get his land back.

Unsuspecting plot seekers have been duped of their hard-earned cash by the group.

Meanwhile President Mrs. Joyce Banda on Thursday warned traditional leaders against corruption, especially, warning that she will crack down on the corrupt .

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