Government is expected to roll out an electronic system of collecting ground rent from January 1 2021, to improve revenue collection and curb malpractices.
Speaking during the launch of the system called Land Rent Roll System, Minister of Lands Kezzie Msukwa said it will help to deal with challenges of land management system, abuse of office, corruption and politicisation of land matters.
He said the phasing out of the manual system will also help the ministry to efficiently produce accurate ground rent notices and deliver the notices to leaseholders in time, thereby improving the revenue collection capacity.
Said Msukwa: “Government is keen to see radical changes in the way we are conducting land administration business in the ministry. We can no longer afford to continue with the business-as-usual attitude that has tarnished the image of the ministry. We should always be mindful of the fact that we are there to serve the public.”
The new system has replaced the one which crashed in 1996, leading to loss of land records.
In his remarks, ICT Association of Malawi president Bram Fudzulani urged the ministry to ensure the new system is not prone to abuse.
He cited the Integrated Finance Management Information System (Ifmis) under the Ministry of Finance which he said was hailed as foolproof but ended up being grossly abused.
Said Fudzulani: “It is important for the ministry to build capacity of its staff to ensure that the system is not manipulated.”
On his part, Ministry of Lands Principal Secretary Bernard Sande said 25 staff from regional lands offices in the country have been trained in how to operate the system.
He said 15 laptops were also purchased for the smooth operation of the system which was developed by an IT consultant from Uganda.