Ministry of Lands says it will repossess land from developers and individuals who are not respecting their lease agreements and allocate it to the Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (Mitc) for investment purposes.
In an interview on Tuesday, Minister of Lands Kezzie Msukwa said that some investors are partly failing to invest due to lack of land.
He said the ministry will audit the existing lease agreements and utilisation of land to ensure investors on waiting list for land are assisted through the one-stop investment centre.
Msukwa said: “Existing idle land that was leased particularly to estates, we intend to get those and offer to the Malawi Investment and Trade Centre to offer it to developers.
“Some idle land leases expired and we will offer it to other developers for further developments.”
He said the ministry will stop giving land to non-indigenous Malawians, observing that those acquiring land should do so for development purposes.
Msukwa said government has started with commercial and industrial land that was given out but people have not adhered to the covenants signed with government.
He said such land will be taken away and from January and government will target individuals to ensure land is developed to spur development and job creation.
The minister’s declaration was in the context of the queries from members of Parliament who questioned why the Lilongwe Northgate project stalled for many years despite it being prime land.
He said Kanengo Northgate project land is leased by a private individual and through the courts, he has ordered no action on it and government cannot act.
Machinga Likwenu legislator Bright Msaka queried why the government was not taking a legal action to reclaim the land, which has been idle for years.
His counterpart, Dowa West legislator Abel Kayembe said the country’s laws should provide a solution and that relevant parliamentary committees should also come in to offer solutions.
“I feel this could be an isolated case, but we should have common solutions to any other land-related challenges out there,” he said.
In an earlier interview, Farmers Union of Malawi president Frighton Njolomole urged government to resolve the challenge of lack of adequate prime land to accommodate tangible investments.
He decried that private and public sector investments are hampered by the lack of access to prime land.
“Most of the land in Malawi is still controlled by chiefs through customary arrangements. The government should, therefore, deliberately earmark land for investments,” said Njolomole.
Ministry of Trade earlier admitted that the special economic zones programme was delaying because government was still identifying land.