Government says it will soon embark on a mass sensitisation drive to familiarise Malawians to the recently-passed Land-related Bills.
Two weeks ago, Parliament passed four of the 10 Land-related Bills which seek to align the country’s land laws to the 2000 National Land Policy.
However, some sections of the Bills have been a source of misunderstanding among some stakeholders who have urged President Peter Mutharika not assent to them.
Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development Atupele Muluzi yesterday led a team of officials from his ministry as they held a meeting with members of Malawi Editors Forum (Maef) in Blantyre, where he underlined that the bills had gone through a rigorous consultation process before being tabled in Parliament.
Some civil society organisations (CSOs) have asked the President not to assent to four of the 10 Bills already passed on the basis that government did not consult stakeholders on the laws.
The four Bills passed are the Principal Land Bill, Physical Planning Bill, Land Survey Bill and the Customary Land Bill.
Said Muluzi: “These Bills emanate from the 2002 Land Policy. For the past 14 years, the Bills have gone through rigorous consultations and in March this year, they were presented to Parliament for review and input.
“We feel moving on to the next level of mass sensitisation is critical.”
Muluzi underlined that the four Land-related Bills currently awaiting the President’s nod represent the much-needed legal framework that would spur socio-economic development in the country.
He underlined that Malawi, currently, is at ‘critical juncture regarding the role of land management to the socio-economic development of the country’.
He, therefore, called on the media to present stories on the bills in a balanced and fair manner so as not to mislead Malawians.
In his remarks, Maef chairperson Clifton Kawanga assured government that the media will maintain its principles of impartiality, fairness and balance in reporting the bills.
The meeting, which was the first of three to be held in all three regions, was punctuated by a keynote address by Muluzi, various presentations on the Bills by ministry’s directors and a question and answer plenary.