Government has warned encroachers in concession areas to stop the malpractice or risk being prosecuted.
Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining Bright Msaka issued the warning in an interview in the wake of reported cases of encroachments of land under concession.
Recently, there have been clashes between guards at Amalika Forest and people in the surrounding villages in Thyolo, resulting in injuries and deaths. The villagers are accused of stealing trees in the forest.
“Part of government law enforcement ability is to protect private property. We will engage law enforcement agency such as the police to ensure that what has been invested is protected,” said Msaka.
He said government is keen to attract both local and foreign investors and that it can only succeed if they are assured of safety of their property.
The minister wondered why people would encroach on private land without fearing the consequences.
“May be there is also need for civic education for people to learn to respect private property. We don’t want a chaotic country where there is no rule of law,” said Msaka.
Nabw, UN Women for equality in private sector