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Government to repossess undeveloped land

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GUMBA—We are undertaking an audit

Deputy Minister of Lands, Urban Development Deus Gumba on Friday said the ministry is currently conducting a land audit which would help to follow up on land that has not been developed.

Gumba said the laws allow the government to reclaim land that has not been developed two years after acquisition.

He disclosed this at a press briefing in Lilongwe Friday on the new land laws.

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“As a ministry we are very serious. We have sent our team on the ground in all the regions to do the audit. Moving in all areas, flagging out all the pieces of land that are staying idle, where there is no development. If development has not started in two years that land must be repossessed,” he said.

Section 39(1) of the Land Amendment Act gives the minister the powers to re-enter any vacant or undeveloped freehold land if development is not commenced within two years while section 11 says all land allocated by Malawi Investment Trade Centre for investment shall be withdrawn if not developed within the same period.

Gumba said the ministry has in place a land information system which has the database of all people that acquired land through the ministry in particular in the cities of the country.

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He also said the government is working towards reviewing the laws that govern the management of real estate to bring sanity in the land market.

Parliament reviewed and amended land acts in March 2022 and the laws became operational in July last year.

The six laws include the Land Amendment Act, the Physical Planning Amendment, the Customary Land Amendment, the Land Survey Amendment, the Registered Amendment, and Land Acquisition and Compensation (Amendment) Acts.

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