Land grab dominates Malawi press: HRDC asks ACB to probe ex-ministers, Chothia and Karim

As land ownership conflicts in Malawi continue to rise,   the  call by Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) for  the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to probe individuals that acquired public land through political connections, specifically those that did so under the ousted Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) regime, on Saturday two dominated  headline weekend newspapers.

Mchacha faces probe

‘Land scam,’ was the headline in Malawi News on the letter which HRDC has written ACB. With subheadline ‘Vuwa Kaunda, Charles Mchacha, Malawians of Asian origin implicated.’

The Weekend Nation also reports on the same angle with a headline: ‘HRDC wants urgent land allocation probe’.

The press quoting a letter dated August 5 2020 signed by HRDC chairperson Gift Trapence and national coordinator Luke Tembo, the group, among others, wants ACB to probe how former minister of Lands Symon Vuwa Kaunda  granted 1.171 hectares of land to former minister of irrigation Charles Mchacha at a price of K30.5 million.

The HRDC, through their whistleblower initiative, says it wants individuals that acquired public land through political connections to be probed, specifically those that did so under the ousted Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) regime.

Mchacha acquired the land belonging to the Department of Forestry, Plot Number LW 1366 at Limbe West in Blantyre City in a dubious manner.

According to a lease document, Mchacha was granted approval to lease the land for 99 years, beginning July 1 2019.

However, Mchacha and Kaunda defended the sale, arguing that the piece of land was not the only one that was sold to individuals in the area.

HRDC also wants ACB to probe how a Malawi Housing Corporation (MHC) land in Area 3 in Lilongwe was sold to two businesspeople, Mustaq Chothia and Suleiman Ismail Karim.

The letter further alleges that the two were also dubiously awarded land near Kamuzu Central Hospital roundabout, Lilongwe’s Area 15 and Area 3 as well as plots opposite Lilongwe Labour Offices.

Reads the letter in part: “HRDC has also information that there have been many suspected cases by some Ministry of Land officials awarding land without following proper procedures.

“HRDC is, therefore, calling for land plots awarding audit where such an audit should also include land allocated to Mr. Zahid Sattar of Pioneer Properties.”

HRDC further wants a probe on Ministry of Land officials who have sold government land without proper procedures at Choma Hatchery in Mzuzu, Mpemba Staff Development Institute (SDI) land in Blantyre and part of Maula Prison land in Lilongwe’s Area 6.

In addition, some of the government land that has been sold without proper procedures include Ministry of Agriculture’s department of Health land along Chileka Road in Blantyre, Bwemba Hatchery in Lilongwe and Department of Veterinary land in Mpemba, Blantyre.

HRDC says it wants the ACB to commence the investigations on the reported cases at the soonest time possible.

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ERUTU
ERUTU
1 month ago

A LUTA CONTINUA 💪🏾🇲🇼

HRDCC
HRDCC
1 month ago

How comes these 2 thieves Chotia and Suleman are untouchable??? Just coz they dump huge sums of rotten monies to corrupt police officers and they should be allowed to walk Scot free. This is totally unacceptable as both are not above the law. This indicates that only lip service is given from the law enforcers. there is crystal clear evidence against these two so how comes only Malawians are being prosecuted and not these two thugs.

Thyolo2
Thyolo2
1 month ago

All govt land that was sold illegally, or sold through deliberate flouting of procedures should be repossessed regardless of whether the land has been developed or not.

Benjones
Benjones
1 month ago
Reply to  Thyolo2

Also the sub standard construction they put up. It’s an eyesore. Pls whoever is responsible to approve plans go and check in limbe they type of flats being build and the risk for people. Pls demolish all sub standard construction. Before we hear of a disaster

True
True
1 month ago

That is the way to go. Mr President please help ACB game yakula iyi

Wawo
Wawo
1 month ago

Yes yes please.Thank you God for answering our prayers,this land,this land!

Chilungamo chafika
Chilungamo chafika
1 month ago

A president ndi a vice any nkhani ya malo mdziko Muni muione bwino.Malo Ali mmanja mwa anthu ibwera komadi ochepa mmataunimu komadi andale a UDF Andi DPP for past 26 yrs.make adecree a president amene aphangira malo mulilongwe.One of the ways just extend city boundaries to closer to Namitete or Does turnoff or Nathenje.If anything.Govt should control.If a person want to sell the land The govt should be buying it not one person my area3 kumapatsa mwenye mmodzi.Please please stop releases of estates,farms land big lands of 99yrs.Check land reform in China.Land reform is crucial for equity distribution.Mukapanda kutenga bold… Read more »

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