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Ministry takes up Bandawe land dispute

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Ministry of Lands has set June end this year as a deadline to end a land dispute between communalities at Bandawe in Nkhata Bay and Livingstonia Synod of Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP).

The land was earmarked for establishment of a marine camp of Malawi Defence Force (MDF) which is close to Lake Malawi and part of which belongs to Bandawe Mission of the CCAP.

At the heat of the controversy, some communities nearly beat Bandawe Congregation leaders accusing them of pocketing money from the government over the land.

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The communities claim the land in question is customary while the synod believes the land belongs to the church.

But in a written response, Minister of Lands Sam Kawale said officials from his ministry are already handling the matter with speed hoping a conclusion on the matter would be met by next month.

Kawale also said his ministry has been meeting officials from MDF on the same expressing optimism the matter would be resolved amicably.

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“We had a meeting with MDF last month and    discussed the issue. The ministry has been on the ground and will resolve the dispute by June this year,” Kawale said.

Deputy Minister of Defense Harry Mkandawire said the government through MDF is ready to develop the land, adding the line ministry would fund the project.

“We are just waiting for reports from the Ministry of Lands. Otherwise, President Lazarus Chakwera is geared for developments including the Bandawe marine camp,” Mkandawire said.

Recently, Livingstonia Synod General Secretary Reverend William Tembo said the church is yet to receive payment for the land from MDF.

MDF also has a marine camp in Monkey Bay in Mangochi.

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