Mchinji District Commissioner (DC) Rosemary Nawasha has expressed concern over persistent land disputes the district is currently registering.
Nawasha said women account for 80 per cent of Malawi’s food producing population, but they often do not have access to land as compared to men.
She therefore asked chiefs in the district to use justice in handling land cases by not involving themselves into corruption.
The DC made the remarks on Monday during the launch of primary justice trainings for village tribunal clerks in Traditional Authority (TA) Dambe in the district.
“Chiefs should always refrain from corruption. They should always try to assist women. If the land belongs to a woman they should give that land to her.
“They shouldn’t grab the land just because she is a woman who has no power according to our tradition. Every person has the right to farm or have any other usage of land,” she said.
She however commended the Primary Justice Project by Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) for providing trainings to tribunal clerks on issues to do with gender based violence.
With the trainings, she said communities would be able to identify conflicts at an early stage before they reach magistrate courts.
According to Nawasha, through the primary just project, Mchinji district has reduced cases of gender based violence to a certain level.
One of the village tribunal clerks, Grace Mwale, a secretary to Chisamba Village Tribunal, said 50 per cent of the cases they handle in a week are related to land.
She said the project has reduced cases of gender based violence that are brought before magistrate courts as most are ably handled at an early stage.
Mchinji Primary Justice Project Officer, Grant Khola, said gender-based violence (GBV), particularly domestic violence, remains one of the most serious and life‐threatening human rights violations in the district.
“We are very happy that these village tribunals in this district are doing a commendable job. They are able to record cases according to skills imparted in them,” he said.
The project is funded by Department for International Development (DFID) through CCJP.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :