Some suspected Agricultural Development Marketing Corporation (Admarc) officers on Sunday night went into Mphonyiwa Village in Traditional Authority (T/A) Machinjiri in Blantyre and issued an eviction notice to the villagers who are said to be occupying the corporation’s land.
The corporation has told them to immediately stop building and cultivating on the land that forms the village.
The villagers are alleged to have encroached on Admarc land behind Mzedi Admarc, which is located along Chiradzulu Road, some two decades ago.
But the villagers claim to have settled on the land way before Admarc came into being.
According to them, two Europeans, whose names were Galahaler and Burton, were the ones who asked for factory land from them and when Admarc inherited the factory, it started claiming the land that belongs to the villagers.
The notice, which is written on an A4 paper in vernacular, sought to remind the villagers that the land where they are staying on belongs to Admarc Limited and is expected to be used for the corporation’s project anytime.
“Malowa ndi [a]Admarc Limited. Nthawi ina iliyonse tiwagwiritsa ntchito choncho simukuloledwa kulima kapena kumangapo. Zikomo (This land belongs to Admarc. We plan to use it anytime. Therefore, you are not allowed to cultivate or build on this land. Thank you,” the notice reads.
According to wife to Village Head Mphonyiwa, Mary Jekete, on Tuesday some three police officers and an Admarc guard also stormed the village head’s compound with a promise that they wanted to meet the villagers on Wednesday for a mouth-warning notice.
“Some people, who were driving an Admarc-branded vehicle, came into the village, moved around and left the eviction notice letters in the fields. Where some are constructing houses, they also left the notice. It was in the morning that many people realised that some enemies had invaded the village. But some people saw them. They were Admarc officers together with an armed guard.
“Monday went without any other action. On 27th October, as we were chatting, we saw some three police officers in the company of an Admarc worker, a Mr Kananji. When we greeted them and asked who they were, it was only one person who said he is Mr Mwaluka from Limbe Police. When we asked the purpose of their visit, they just said they wanted to meet the village head. But we told them that he had gone to the T/As compound for a meeting,” Jekete said.
One of the villagers, Enerst Malata, said people in the village are living in fear and what they now need is justice on the issue.
“We know there are some concerned people out there. We need some money to hire lawyers. But that may not be achieved because we do not have money. We need some help so that this issue can be concluded and we live in peace,” Malata said.
In an interview yesterday, Admarc spokesperson, Agnes Chikoko, said the issue is being handled by the corporation’s lawyers.
Southern Region Police Deputy spokesperson, Widson Nhlane, said police officers’ presence in any land issues is to do with protection of the involved department officers.
A vibrant writer who gives a great insight on hot topics and issues