Former Justice Minister Ralph Kasambara has accused Peoples Party (PP) legislators of treachery after they bitterly condemned the Customery Land bill.
”The bill was first introduced in parliament by the PP led government. I supported it then and I am supporting it now.
“ It is sad that those who were with me in PP led government are now misleading the public by condemning it. That is treachery of highest order,” says Kasambara.
However, Peoples Party MP in Karonga Malani Mtonga says the bill was not introduced by the PP led government but by the late Bingu wa Mutharika administration.
He says parliament passed it but Mutharika did not assent it into law but sent it back to parliament instead.
Mtonga said the bill was reintroduced in parliament during the Joyce Banda adminitration, legislators passed it but Banda did not sign it into law because traditional leaders urged her not to assent it into law.
The bill says fees and taxes will be applicable upon occupation of that land by another person other than the original title holder or if one chooses to transact on that land be it through leasing out, selling out.
Opposition MPs and social media posts described the fees as taxes on customary land which they said was a disgrace to custom and tradition.
However, Lands minister Atupele Muluzi said people will only pay service fees if they wanted to register their land.