Minister decries land grabbing
Malawi government has warned Ministry of Lands officials against fraudulent sale of land to foreigners and bogus investors whose hidden agenda is just land grabbing.
Lands Minister Paul Chibingu told officials in the Ministry that careless sale of productive and prime land will create existential threat to Malawians who in the long run may end up being landless refugees and slave labourers in their own country.
Speaking during a familiriasation tour of establishments under his Ministry in Mzuzu on Thursday, Chibingu said it is through corruption that some bogus investors end up being sold huge chunks of land for construction of residential houses when locals are denied access to the same land in their own country.
He said foreigners should get land for investment only after following proper procedures.
“If you continue giving land to foreigners, your children will one day become foreigners in their own land and the foreigners will claim this is their land,” he said.
Taking their turn, officials from the Ministry also faulted government for creating challenges for them.
One of the challenges they cited were the presidential trips, which affect negatively their operations.
According to the officials the presidential trips impinge on the operations of the Surveys Department as its only lorry transports materials that are used to set up podium for the president or other Very Very Important People (VVIPs) during rallies.
“We have one lorry in the Surveys Department and all the other departments use this lorry for their operations. And every time we have VVIP functions, say the president or the Veep is here in the North, the lorry is used to carry the materials for the podium. We have to make it fit and available and we cover all those costs ourselves,” said Regional Surveyor General Masida Mbano.
He also said officers posted at regional offices were sidelined when it comes to training. He said officers employed in the same year and grade would differ in that those posted to the headquarters receive regular training unlike those posted to the regions.
Acting Regional Physical Planning officer Mphatso Kadaluka said low funding was another challenge affecting their operations
He said out of the planned K1 million, his department usually gets about K250 000 per month.
Kadaluka also bemoaned lack of office space and computers among others.
Malawi Housing Corporation Regional Manager for the North Esther Mtenje said growing waiting list for both houses and plots and encroachment by illegal developers were some of the key challenges at the corporation.
She said Mzuzu has over 4 000 waiting applicants.
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