No foreigner should be allowed own land in Malawi

President  Lazarus Chakwera’s directive for “Minister of Lands to review all the land laws to address the flaws in the legislation and those laws must be ready for amendment at the next seating of parliament” has opened a window of opportunity for the country to amend bad clauses.

Chakwera during his second session of Questions to the President in Parliament ordered a review of all land laws enacted in 2017, blaming them for the country’s chaotic scramble for land by both individuals and businesses. He is seen in the picture conferring  wth Minster of Lands  Kezzie Msukwa

Malawians have complained for some time now about foreign nationals buying land in both urban and rural areas. And there are fears, and justifiably so, that many Malawians will be landless if the current land laws are left unattended.

Parliament amended 10 related land laws in 2016.  Many Malawians, especially in the north, expressed reservations about the amended laws and rejected them, citing serious flaws.  Some MPs have expressed similar concerns in parliament, but have done nothing to change the status quo. Shame!

These land laws, which have been developed with the support of European Union, favour foreign investors and some poor Malawians are losing land.  The Land Act, the Customary Land Act and the Land Acquisition Act have increased the risk of land grabs. The laws were amended to enable government to easily allocate land to foreign investors for commercial agriculture under the New Alliance which the DPP government signed with some western countries.  The Greenbelt Initiative is one such strategy.

Malawi Mangoes, a company that is 100% foreign-owned, acquired more than 200 hectares of land in Salima to grow mangoes and bananas for exports.  Government should not have allocated huge tracks of land to Malawi Mangoes. The poor villagers lost their land to the foreign company.  And there is also a foreigner who is rumoured to have bought 780 hectares of land. What is this all land for?

As the Minister of Lands reviews the laws, one of the issues to look into is to limit the amount of land to allocate to foreign investors and the period of lease. Government should not be allocating huge tracks of land to the investors, bearing in mind that Malawi is a small country and there is land pressure as the population is growing at an alarming rate.  The period of the lease should also be shortened to 20-30 years. It is unfair to allocate large tracks of land to foreign investors for a period of 50 years when Malawians are landless.

Land laws should not be favouring foreign investors at the expense of Malawians. Malawians must come first. If government had a good policy of empowering its citizens we would be doing many things on our own without depending on foreign investors many of whom are exploiting workers and natural resources.

Sections 37 and 38 of the Land Act should be scrapped. No foreigner should be allowed to buy or own land. Foreigners are buying land because the law allows them. This is a serious flaw. It is unfortunate that some MPs have complained about foreigners buying land when they have power to change the law.  No Malawian can go to China, India, Pakistan, Lebanon or Rwanda to buy land. Why should we allow them here?  Land is for indigenous Malawians. Full stop! And we should not please anyone on this.

Under both Customary Land Act and Land Act, unused land is classified as public land. This will encourage land grabbing and corruption as a minister can allocate this land to anyone since it’s under government.  It should be emphasised that a district like Mzimba the unused land which comprises forests has owners. It is not free land as some people would want to interpret. The trees are preserved to avoid environmental degradation.

One can only hope that the Minister of Lands and his team will soon hold a series of meetings throughout the country to solicit views from Malawians about the areas in the land laws they wish to be amended.

 

 

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ericjohn
ericjohn
1 month ago

keep the country poor as village,no foreigners will spend and tambla to buy the land, just check the neigbhor countries, their are rush to develop, but here we are disscussing how slow down the steps. i think the god will blessing the poor man

mtete
mtete
1 month ago

Chakwera is assured of my vote at next presidential election should the land reforms take effect. Foreigners are really having it good with land purchase, unlike indigenous Malawians (including, maybe a handful of the so-called of “other origins”

Donda wa Donda
Donda wa Donda
1 month ago

This is the way to go. How come people should but land anywhere and anyhow? Foreigners do get land on lease basis say 5 yrs, 20 yrs etc. We cannot keep on selling our own land the pace we are going. In fact what everyone should know that Malawi is landless. We have the highest population density in Africa and yet we opt to sell our land as if we going somewhere! We need to do something and the time is now, it’s us and it’s here in Malawi.

Big Mbuzi
Big Mbuzi
1 month ago

Can a foreigner ever carry the land they owe, away from Malawi? It looks to me that Malawians want to remain one of the poorest peoples and countries in the world.

ARNOLD MAVUTULA
ARNOLD MAVUTULA
1 month ago
Reply to  Big Mbuzi

Are u not aware of the state of African countries prior to independence…they can carry it as their own…it’s not the 14centuary anymore we live in the age of information and we can’t keep falling for the same old tricks Malawians..countries like Ghana,Gambia emphasize on attracting investors with good intent specifically blacks in the diaspora who share and understand the Africans plight..

007
007
1 month ago
Reply to  Big Mbuzi

Indeed they wanr too

Banda2
Banda2
1 month ago

Foreigners who buy land benefits the seller who invests elsewhere. A Foreigner who owns lands invests in that land by building structures (employment) or developing the land in Agriculture. Most countries allow Foreigner ownership as it creates investment new money into the country. When the foreigner decides to sell they are charged extra taxes Capital Gains taxes which further assists Government. Problem is Malawi does not have adequate tax laws for sale of property and land.

Ndafera Nkhande
Ndafera Nkhande
1 month ago

Yes amwenye kuno sikwao adabwerera kudzamanga njanji ngati indetured labourers.Look at the suffering of african slaves in India and compare with these guys who came here as labourers.Do not give them any chance to own land.

ARNOLD MAVUTULA
ARNOLD MAVUTULA
1 month ago

I watched one documentary of African descendants in India that were taken there by force…the government put these people in the jungles to fend for themselves,they are intentionally restricted from getting any news outside the areas they live and know so little about their motherland…in the 80,s when India wanted to have a hand in sporting scene but saw that their people were not physically up for the challenges they went into these jungles to recruit children in all kinds of sports with the sole aim of exploiting them and when the blacks started to be more informed because of… Read more »

Ellen vasco
Ellen vasco
1 month ago

I agree with this

Rocky Dada
Rocky Dada
1 month ago

Land should be provided to bonafide foreigners with proper legit investments plans which will create jobs for the locals and contribute positively to the economy. This isn’t rocket science to justify. In the same news today, i’ve read that some investors will commnece selling of Agricultural produce from local green house investments and partnerships close to KIA and are employing hundrends of surrounding citizens. I wouldn’t mind providing more land to these investors and they will put or utilise the land productively. Rather than giving such land to people who will construct substandard structures for their businesses and enslave the… Read more »

007
007
1 month ago

The best solution

Is let us all leave
Before going we should destroy all the buildings and machinery
And see what this so called patriots can do
Let them start from zero
As all the buildings as you say that was built with corruption lets destroy all this
Leave them empty handed
They will build 8 storey buildings

mtete
mtete
1 month ago
Reply to  007

By all means destroy the buildings and machinery. You don’t have to hold Malawi to ransom or the balls. It will be interesting to know where you will head to next considering that it probably is only Malawi, through corrupt leaders, which has been guilible and stupid enough to pawn it’s land for pitance.
Mind you those who put land to efficient use need not feret. It’s those who dupe locals to buy hectares upon hectares of land for God knows what that are not welcome.

007
007
1 month ago
Reply to  mtete

Many countries give opportunites
Look at zambia where has it gone

All these economies have lifted

We are still on same
Coz after we eat zimbe and spit on the road we blame it on foreigners
Instead of cleaning it urself

007
007
1 month ago
Reply to  mtete

The patel brothers were chased from uganda during idi amin

They headed yo uk
And become richer more then what they had in uganda

Ku lumbadzi
Ku lumbadzi
1 month ago
Reply to  007

Amongst those Indians deported from Uganda were 20 different Patel families ( not related) who were millionaires in pounds in 1970’s ,arrived in UK,penniless,destitute,come 1990’s the same 20 families through hard work and business flair became millionaires again .beat that,Osati za nsanje.

ARNOLD MAVUTULA
ARNOLD MAVUTULA
1 month ago
Reply to  007

Go to the UK then…the world is changing and the African is changing with it…weather u like it or not…

Hate it or take it but it's a fact
Reply to  007

Go there too, we don’t need u here. U enslave Africans in India so Africans are not blind anymore .

Time is fast approaching , mob justice will be perpetrated on u Indians and your fellow Pakistanis

Ku lumbadzi
Ku lumbadzi
1 month ago
Reply to  mtete

Wherever,I think they will be successful.

Ku lumbadzi
Ku lumbadzi
1 month ago
Reply to  mtete

In Uganda President Museveni (at the helm ,for years,thank the lord for our democracy) recalled the Indians back,some went back,others sent their relatives from India,properties and farms were returned to them,15000 to 20000 population now(80000 in 1970’s) nevertheless contribute 62% of tax collected by authorities,so ma amwenye awa and Uganda not exactly in doldrums.

Wondering Blues
Wondering Blues
1 month ago
Reply to  007

Agreed best solution to the problem.

Bengo
Bengo
1 month ago
Reply to  007

Let the government allow ordinally malawians to take the land law into their hands. They should decide on who to own land otherwise I support the idea of hanging all indians by their balls. Tikuduleni machende mwina mumva kuti kuno sikogula malo. Go gujarati and buy land there not here in malawi

007
007
1 month ago
Reply to  Bengo

Okay black man

Last edited 1 month ago by 007
Hate it or take it but it's a fact
Reply to  007

Yah leave black man in his God given land and go back to India my friend, we are getting tired of u and one day revenge will be directed upon you by abusing our forefather as slaves.

We are not happy with past history u did to our forefather, so now u came back with tricks of being investors whole steal our land, watch the space.

Ku lumbadzi
Ku lumbadzi
1 month ago
Reply to  Bengo

Channel your aggression in a different way,maybe you might be able to emulate their success,I think you have to go to anger management classes.jeez you seem to be a very angry person.

Imran patel
Imran patel
1 month ago
Reply to  Bengo

The problem with some of you Malawians is that you think you are clever but you not, look at the African countries surrounding you they are all growing economies and we in malawi are the 3rd poorest country in the world . Countries like Zambia Mozambique Rwanda are fastest growing economies in africa because they encourage foreign investment into the country unlike malawi.

Sams
Sams
1 month ago

And yet my brother Mr. Peter Muthalika prides himself to have left government in good status/shape with all these land grabs done by him and and Atupele Muluzi. Shame on them people are not wrong to say “MALAWI DZUKA”

Bengo
Bengo
1 month ago
Reply to  Sams

Osamachimvera chitsilu chimene chija

shares
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