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Government wants ban on customary land sales

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The Ministry of Lands has disclosed that it is considering banning the sale of customary land once the government starts issuing certificates for the same.

The ministry has noted that most Malawians are losing land, sometimes to foreigners, and is hopeful that the certificates would give extra latitude to customary landholders.

“We would want to avoid a situation where people with land certificates end up being landless,” said Ministry of Lands Principal Secretary Bernard Sande when he appeared before Legal Affairs Committee (LAC) of Parliament members in Lilongwe.

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Sande said land becomes valuable for sale when it is registered.

The ministry is expected to table six land review bills in Parliament in November this year.

The laws that were earmarked for review are: Land Act 2016, Customary Land Act 2016, Land Survey Act, Physical Planning Act 2016, Registered Land Act and Land Acquisition and Compensation Act 1970.

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Among other things, the review seeks to have customary land registered to allow owners to have certificates.

LAC Chairperson Peter Dimba hailed the ministry for hatching plans that would benefit the citizenry.

“The November meeting will be generally for bills; so, I don’t think there will be any problems if they bring them at once. These bills cannot be dealt with separately; they are interlinked,” he said.

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