Malawi court issues permanent injunction against Minister Bande on land dispute

The High Court in Blantyre has finally issued a permanent Restraining Order stopping Minister of Mining, John Bande and his agents from trespassing and encroaching on Angoni Lonjezo Community Based Organization (CBO) orphanage land situated in his constituency, Blantyre City East.

High Court judge, Joseph Manyungwa issued the injunction on Monday (February 18, 2013) after Bande’s lawyer Elton Jangale of Sacranie, Gow & Company failed to turn up for inter-parte hearing on the interlocutory injunction application by the CBO’s officials to permanently bar the minister and others from encroaching and trespassing on its land.

The court’s permanent order came after an expiry of an interim injunction the court issued three weeks ago.

Last time the case was adjourned after Jangale asked the court to shift the hearing to a later day since the minister was reportedly outside the country on official duties.

Bande: Court order stops him from encroaching the land
Bande: Court order stops him from encroaching the land

Following the permanent injunction, now Bande and others are not allowed to interfere with the operations of the CBO until a deliberation on the Originating Summons is made to determine if the minister’s conduct in encroaching and trespassing on the orphanage’s land was rightful.

Lawyer for the CBO, Chancy Gondwe described the court ruling as a relief to his client, saying they are now free to proceed with their operations without interference from the minister and his aids.

“Now we will wait until the proceedings on the Originating Summons are concluded. The court is yet to set a date for hearing, but as of now my clients are permanently free to continue with their operations,” Gondwe said.

Last time the CBO’s officials complained in court of been assaulted and driven away from the land by Bande’s supporters despite the land legally registered under the orphanage.

Bande, for years now, has been at war with the Angoni Lonjezo’s officials led by Molson Tengatenga in order to completely take over the land after he was already relocated part of the land for a public clinic.

According to court files, the orphanage was allocated the land by group village-headman, Matenje on February 7, 2005 to be used for community driven activities which include HIV and Aids testing and counseling, adult literacy, tinsmith training among others. It was registered as Community Based Organization in 2009.

The orphanage was built with assistance from Malawi Social Action Fund (Masaf) who provided 75 percent with the remaining 25 percent met by the members.

However, in 2009 part of the land was reallocated to bande for the construction of the clinic.

But being unsastified with the allocated portion, Bande and his supporters started encroaching on the remaining orphanages’ land and ordered the CBO to vacate the premise which they said is to be used for President Joyce Banda’s Safe Motherhood initiative purpose.

Over 100 orphans and vulnerable children were chased from the land by Banded and his supporters who later on assaulted Tengatenga and his fellow officials on reports that they side with former ruling, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

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