Leaders of People’s Land Organisation (PLO) have disclosed that they have formed a political party named People’s Land Party which they said will be representing people’s interests on land issues.
PLO leader, Vincent Wandale, first broke the news on Tuesday after the court gave him a suspended sentence.
He told the press that he will not stop fighting for people’s interest on land and his next move is to form a political grouping that will likely contest in the 2019 polls in Malawi.
“We are still moving forward and when I was been dragged to police and the courts, the other members were still working on our letters to be sent to international bodies for Mulanje and Thyolo to be declared sovereign so once that is done, this party will have to contest to take up seats in that country, if not then we will contest in 2019 in Malawi where a lot of people are also struggling to access land,” Wandale said.
Asked in separate interviews the group’s Executive Director Chrispin Nkhoma and Secretary General Precious Lester said they are aware of the development; saying they are yet to start selling their party ideologies on land to the people.
Nkhoma said they arrived at the decision to form a political grouping having observed that government is also politicising land issues in the country.
“At first, we had no political agenda but we have seen that government is turning everything political so the only way we can advance is to go into politics as well so that we defeat them, in this case the party— Peoples Land Party—will be a brainchild of the People’s Land Organisation. Our aim is to take back all the land under estate ownership which was lawlessly grabbed from our grandfathers during the colonial period, this land will be given back to the natives,” Nkhoma said.
Lester on the other hand said the party is not only for the people of Mulanje and Thyolo but will represent everyone across the country.
Chancellor College-based political analyst Boniface Dulani said the party can attract a good following in rural areas as land issues are crucial in the country.
“They can make it to the extent that land issues are important to many Malawians, but of course it would be extremely difficult to govern the country if they only have one issue, it’s not just about land, there are a lot of critical issues involved, but no one should underrate them” Dulani said.
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