Newly appointed Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Kamlepo Kalua has said that he comes to a ministry – formerly held by Symon Vuwa Kaunda – which is infested with corruption but warned he will crackdown on dubius land, plot sales syndicate.
Kalua, who has been a fierce critic of government on corruption, has given all city, town and districts councils a 14 days ultimatum to submit detailed reports on land and plots for sales.
The ministry is never short of controversy when it comes to land sales mainly in cities and towns, with corrupt practices taking center stage.
Kalua has further threatened to confiscate all land and plots that were sold illegally and those deemed to be associated with corruption.
“I want to say that the honeymoon is over for corrupt officers in the ministry. I want transparency, time for corruption is over. We are going to be clean, clean ministry, government and everything,” he said.
Kalua made the remarks on Thursday, during an inspection exercise in Area 44, in Lilongwe.
The exercise was done to appreciate various sites which are being developed against city plans.
“I have also discovered that there is a parallel structure at this ministry with official stamps and all what it takes to be a ministry. These people must be connected.
“I have to fight that war and I will win because I don’t fear corrupt people who are more politically connected. They are arrogant and this is the war I have declared against, which the president wants,” he said.
Kalua continued: “I don’t want politically connected people to be at the centre stage of land grabbing or illegal development, think of a poor Malawian. If I tolerate this vice, who will defend them?”
The Minister said he will allow rules of natural justice to be applied before punishing the land encroachments or grabbers.
Recently, the sale of a government school, Livimbo secondary in Area 2 to Malawians of Asian origin and encroachment on government land in Area 9 opposite Crossroads Hotel took center stage as ministry officials were accused of corruption.
About six plots have also been confirmed sold but the proceeds did not go to the Malawi Government Account Number One.
The six confirmed plots are Area 47/1219 reportedly sold at K300 million and Area 43/ 999, Area 43/998, Area 43/995, Area 43/994 and Area 43/993 which went at K50 million each.
The ministry also busted a parallel ‘Lands Office’ in Lilongwe which transacted and sold plots with counterfeit documents.
Issues of land scams are not new in Malawi as many people, including Cabinet ministers and high-ranking government officials have previously been duped.
In 2018, former minister of Lands Vuwa Kaunda, then serving as one of President Peter Mutharika’s advisers, was duped about K1.4 million in a fake plot allocation by one Felix Mangani who posed as controller of Lands.
Vuwa Kaunda and other officials made deposits to an NBS Bank current account number 14411631 under the name of G. Kaunga, the suspected fraudster.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :