Minister of Industry, Roy Kachale has assured communities in Nkhotakota he will look into the issue where a community Rice Cooperative Society was sold to former minister of Information and Member of Parliament for Nkhotakota Central, Clement Stambuli.
The minister made the pledge on Monday when he visited land and assets alleged to originally belong to Nkhotakota Rice Cooperative Society but now lying idle and in ruins in Traditional Authority (TA) Malengachanzi in the district.
After hearing complaints from representatives of the community members who included Member of Parliament (MP) for the area, Peter Mazizi, the minister said he was touched but needed time to hear the other side of the story.
“From what I am hearing from you and the documents you have shared, it seems there is an issue to follow up and investigate but we also need to hear from the other party.
“It’s strange that a person could make a single payment and acquire land and assets belonging to two different entities,” he said.
Kachale also wondered how the vast land and other assets, which include over 20 houses, could be acquired at the value of K2.1 million, “unless the person is very lucky”.
But the minister could not say when the issue could be handled. He observed that such issues are complicated as they involve sale of fixed assets and that they need consultation.
He said if the assets were sold, it was the duty of his ministry to help the community find out how and offer them help if necessary.
In an interview, chairperson of the new Nkhotakota Rice Cooperative Society, Veronica Prisca Chisemphere said “We believe that the way the buyer acquired the land was irregular as it had all along belonged to the community and we were never made aware of the transaction.”
But Stambuli said he will comment fter meeting the minister.
Nkhotakota Rice Cooperative Society was closed by Malawi`s founding President Hastings Kamuzu Banda in 1967, according to Chisemphere.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :