By Chapatali Ndau
The Malawi Black Economic Empowerment Movement ( MaBLEM) has decried over the land challenges rocking Malawi and is calling on Lazarus Chakweras administration to undertake a thoroughly land audit from Nsanje to Chitipa following the arrest of two Malawians of Asian origin who are said to be kingpins in illegal land acquisitions.
Reacting to the arrest of two Malawians of Asian origin Suleman Ishmail Khadba and Mustaq Chotia, MaBLEM Chairperson Robert Mkwezalamba says it is high time a national land audit was done because the arrest of the two may just be a tip of the iceberg.
“While these are alleged to be behind the stolen Hard drives at Ministry of Lands headquarters, as MaBLEM we have followed up huge details showcasing that some Malawians may even be living in a foreign land,” said Mkwezalamba.
He further added that “cases of illegal land acquisitions have been blurred by high level corruption and evasion of justice because the people behind the scenes are highly connected to the previous administration officials and public servants.”
“It is our prayer that the new administration has not received any Congratulation Gifts blindly because the system gets damaged the first 4 weeks in office. And this is what some of the plunders have survived on over the years,” he said.
Mkwezalamba thus stated that “as MaBLEM we cannot call ourselves Malawians without owning the land we live in hence the only way to know that is through a rigorous land audit of who owns which land and how. If this can be done, we can reposes all illegally acquired land and allocate appropriately to deserving Malawians” said he
Bright Kampaundi of Forum for National Development(FND) which is the coordination secretariat for MaBLEM, applauded the new administration for coming decisively to reclaim Land by ensuring that those who got it wrongly are dealt with the law.
” We appeal that the system should be reformed. People behind awarding the land, those who process the papers and all those in variance agencies of government who kept shielding these “fraudsters”, must be reprimanded and, heads must roll.” Said Kampaundi
He has since appealed to Malawians who feel their land was wrongly dispossessed from them to come in the open and declare so for the authorities to take appropriate corrective measures.
The Tonse Alliance administration during Electoral Campaign period vowed to end cartels in land acquisition, trafficking and passport departments among others and ensure that Malawians get the services they want without suffering more challenges like paying bribes.
Early this year MaBLEM wrote to Ministry of lands detailing corrupt practices taking place in land allocation but there was no plausible action from the authorities.
So far there seems to be a sweeping exercise at MRA, Ministry of Lands, Police and Anti corruption bureau(A CB) has vowed to do the same by highlighting the road traffic directorate as one of the worst entities where corruption and abuse of office was rife.