Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has given government up to December 2 2019 to put in place an action plan with clear timelines on how it intends to deal with encroachment on public land.
In a statement yesterday, HRDC leaders Timothy Mtambo and Gift Trapence said the group is compiling a docket that will be used to hold government accountable, urging Malawians of goodwill to continue sending information on land related cases.
It reads: “Upon our meeting with relevant authorities and after going through the documentation and history of Livimbo Schools land, we decided to give government up to Monday 2nd December 2019 to put in place an action plan with clear timelines on how it intends to deal with the encroachment.
“We at HRDC would like to promise that while our focus has been the Livimbo Schools Land scandal, we are meanwhile casting our net wide and are in the process of documenting all land-related cases across the country. We are receiving overwhelming evidence on how rotten our land management and distribution system is.”
Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development officials, led by Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development Symon Vuwa Kaunda met HRDC on Monday, after the grouping had threatened to take to the streets over the matter.
The meeting followed revelations by the Legal Affairs Committee of Parliament that apart from Livimbo Primary School, other schools, including Chimutu, Chilambula, New Shire and Magwero in Lilongwe also had their land encroached by some developers.
During the Monday meeting, HRDC said it was postponing its planned demonstration on November 23, but that government needs to come up with a clear plan on how it plans to resolve the issues by December 2 2019, failing which the protests will take place.
Vuwa Kaunda did not pick up his phone when contacted yesterday, but he earlier admitted that the school premises were encroached and that they will take necessary action.
The Anti- Corruption Bureau (ACB) has since instituted a probe into the alleged sale of the school and were represented by one officer when PAC expected to meet officials from the ministry.
The revelation stirred a debate on social media and other circles after The Nation exposed the issue, when the ministry, through Principal Secretary Joseph Mwandidya admitted that some of its officials were peddling illegal land dealings.
Lilongwe City South West legislator Nancy Tembo disclosed the Livimbo issue during the Legal Affairs Committee meeting with ministry officials.