Deputy Minister of Lands Abida Mia said the ministry is investigating how the Lilongwe District Council awarded 1 000 plots to a businessperson Muhammed Diabi at Likuni in Lilongwe between 2006 and 2007.
According to Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC), the land, which was originally a forest reserve and buffer zone for Lilongwe Water Board (LWB), is said to have been sold after an approval based on recommendations of the Development Committee of the Lilongwe District Council.
However, the Ministry of Local Government suspended the sale “on the premise that the sale did not follow the right procedures.”
“Secondly, there was no open tender notice where the land was advertised to the public and Malawians to be the first to be considered for allocation.”
Mia said the ministry is currently checking files on the sale before taking any action.
The deputy minister said Diabi approached her this week and told her verbally that he gave some part of the land in 2009 and remained with about 134 hectares.
Said Mia: “Diabi brought some documents of the land purchase. He verbally told me that part of the land was given back in 2009.
“So our technocrats are working on checking the legitimacy and legality of the documents. If it happens that the land was dubiously acquired, we will take further action.”
According to Mia, the ministry is setting up a Task Force to look into such matters and enforce the law as part of President Lazarus Chakwera’s ‘clear the rubble’ policy.
Mia indicated that they are currently looking into numerous similar land issues that have been presented to the ministry.