The Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development has warned the public against fraudsters who target unsuspecting prospective developers by impersonating the ministry’s officers.
In a statement released yesterday and signed by Principal Secretary Charles Msosa, the ministry says the fraudsters have been calling people advising them that the ministry has allocated them plots in low density areas either in Lilongwe, Mzuzu or Blantyre and that those allocated plots should send money through mobile cash transfers or to their personal bank accounts.
The warning follows reports that some politicians, including Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining Aggrey Masi and presidential adviser on political affairs Symon Vuwa Kaunda, were swindled by a conman posing as an official from the Lands Ministry.
The ministry further advises the nation that it receives all the money which it charges its clients through designated banks appointed by government and not through any other agent.
Reads the statement in part: “Payments are made either by cash or bank certified cheques payable to Malawi Government. The appointed banks issue appropriate receipts and government simultaneously issues general receipts for the money paid to the bank.”
Among other things, the fraudsters are said to be preparing fake title deeds or lease documents in respect of public land which has already been allocated to other developers by the ministry.
In view of this, the ministry is seeking the assistance of the Malawi Law Society to advise its members who authenticate documents and verify all legal instruments before registration to identify the persons involved beyond reasonable doubt in accordance with Section 105 and Rule 6 (2) of the Registered Land Act.