Oxfam has said despite having the Customary Land Act of 2016, the country is yet to establish land tribunals to settle land disputes.
Oxfam country director John Makina said this on Monday during the official handover of information, education and communication (IEC) materials to Customary Land Committees at Chibwe Primary School in Senior Chief Lukwa’s area in Kasungu.
He said the new customary land law requires the establishment of land tribunals to settle land disputes in communities.
Makina said: “The process of identifying land tribunal members starts at traditional level where communities should come up with names which will be sent to District Commissioners office before submitting to the line ministry for endorsement.”
The IEC materials were developed under the Strengthening Land Governance System for Smallholder Farmers in Malawi Project by the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development and a consortium of non-governmental organisations (NGOs), including Oxfam, Landnet and Centre for Environmental Policy and Advocacy (Cepa) with 1.6 million euro funding from the European Union (EU).
Makina said the four-year project has facilitated the establishment of customary land committees and initiated the process of customary land tribunals at traditional authority level.
Oxfam has since developed gender-sensitive guidelines and procedures for customary land governance as a basis for preparation of customary land regulation which are now in force, according to Makina.
On her part, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development Jane Banda said the launch of the IEC materials for customary land law is a landmark progress in the implementation of the new law in the country.