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NGO engages communities on land rights

Local NGO Landnet says in the absence of new Land Act, local communities will continue losing their land to companies and individuals with strong financial muscles.

Landnet Project Officer Joseph Gausi made the revelation on Wednesday during a community land rights and administration awareness meeting held at Nthumbo in the area of Chief Masasa in Ntcheu.

“The current Land Act which was adopted from the English is outdated,” said Gausi.

He said the Land Act was adopted wholesomely and does not address the interest of local people, hence the need for Parliament to pass the Land Bill,” said Gausi.

“The Land Bill has been formulated to suit the needs of Malawians, as it is gender sensitive and progressive and it calls for devolution of land administration to district level with the idea of propagating democratic principles of transparency and accountability,” he said.

Expressing her concern over land administration issues which have impacted negatively on the livelihood of local communities, a 77-year-old woman, Aida Grant said the meeting was an eye opener and would empower communities to safeguard their pieces of land for use by future generation.

“You have given us the knowledge, but the only challenge is the corrupt traditional leaderships which sell customary land to investors even without the owners’ permission taking advantage of the weak Land Act,” said Grant.

Landnet organized the meeting with support from International Land Coalition.

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