Traditional leaders in Mzimba on Monday shunned a meeting that sought to disseminate results of a Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices (KAP) survey on the new Customary Land Law in Mzuzu.
Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS), a Germany-based development partner, organised the meeting.
Speaking during the meeting, KAS programme coordinator for Zimbabwe and Malawi, Samson Lembani, said the leaders asked government to suspend its activities related to the new land law because they have reservations with the new laws.
“We have, therefore, suspended our activities in Mzimba for the time being. The leaders together with Mzimba Heritage, wrote Malawi Government that they will not entertain the new land laws,” he said.
Lembani said government advised his organisation to stay away from Mzimba.
The results were presented by Henry Chingaipe of Institute for Policy Research and Social Empowerment.
The research found that there is a significant increase in the numbers of people that are aware of the new land law, but those people have little knowledge and understanding of the specifics of the institutional framework.
“While the people are aware that there will be customary land committees, most of them do not know how committee members will be chosen. They also do not know the step-by-step processes of land registration,” said Chingaipe.
Further, the study established that there is resistance in joint land registration from both patrilineal and matrilineal societies.
Since 2016, Mzimba chiefs have been rejecting the new land law, saying their district is a kingdom and Inkosi ya Makhosi M’mbelwa v is the administrator.