Lilongwe Urban Poor People’s Network (Lupen) board member Dyton Milanzi has warned chiefs in the country to desist from the tendency of selling land because it is not their part of their job description.
In an interview on the sidelines of a daylong workshop organised to sensitise residents of Lilongwe on their land rights, Milanzi said most chiefs have the tendency to sell land and if this practice continues one day most of the land will be in the hands of foreigners.
“No chief has the authority to sell land. All the land in the country belongs to government and chiefs were just given powers to look after it and not sell it. These days most foreigners are getting land cheaply and if this is not checked it will increase squatters in our cities,” said Milanzi.
Milanzi added that his organisation plans to reach all the districts in the country, to sensitise people that the real custodian of land is government and must not pay money to chiefs.
“If people pay money to chiefs to get land, one day government can reposes that land and they will not be compensated,” said Milanzi.
Former Ombudsman Henry Chibwana, who was one of the facilitators during the meeting, said that there was a need to shift the tendency by men to own more fertile land than women.
He said women as well are an integral part of society and they need to have access to the best land as their male counterparts.
Lupen governance officer Bauti Phiri, said that plans are already in the pipeline to incorporate Malawians from other regions into Lupen to make it a vibrant body which can represent them in various forums.
The meeting was organised with funding from the Multi-Party Unity Development in Africa based in Sweden.
The Lupen-Mud partnership started in 2012 and according to Phiri it has made a significant impact in the lives of the residents of Lilongwe.