Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development plans to roll-out the Customary Land Act of 2016 next year when owners of customary land will be required to have ownership certificates.
Land Reforms Implementation Unit team leader Davie Chilonga said in an interview on Tuesday that the ministry had given itself three years to pilot the project in eight districts before the expected national roll-out.
He was speaking on the sidelines of a training in Mzuzu for customary land committee members drawn from Rumphi and Karonga.
Said Chilonga: “We have finished the pilots in Rumphi, Kasungu and Phalombe. We are remaining with five districts. But we hope to finish the pilot work by September. We will then engage consultants to review the 10 land-related laws to see whether we need to do some amendments or to continue as they are for a national roll-out.”
He said the ministry is conducting the pilot to draw lessons that should inform how best to progress with the new Act.
On his part, the ministry’s director of administration Duncan Chione described the reception of the project as very good.
He said: “Although at the beginning there was resistance from some people, they now understand that this reform will necessitate that each individual person who owns a piece of customary land must have a certificate which will prove ownership of that piece of land. People are happy about this system because it will reduce or eliminate land disputes.”
Government adopted the new land laws in 2016 to help regulate land administration in the country.