New land laws have excited Nkhotakota communities for giving responsibility for customary land management and administration to local communities and Traditional Authorities (T/As).
Speaking during the sensitisation meeting organised by the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development to brief stakeholders on the new land laws at T/A Mwansambo headquarters, community leaders said the law was retaining their inheritance.
Passed in 2016 and assented to in 2017, the new land laws provide for lifetime ownership of land for locals and restricts sales and longer leases of land to foreigners, among others.
Under the new laws all land is vested in perpetuity in the Republic, a departure from the 1965 Land Act, which vested land in the President.
In his presentation on the laws, team leader of Land Reforms Implementation Unit in the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Davie Chilonga, said the purpose of the new laws is to replace the old one and harmonise the existing legal framework with the aspirations of the Malawi National Land Policy (MNLP).
He said the new laws give greater meaning of what land is, classifies land tenure types, gives guidance on acquisition of tenure, conditions of grant, disposal of customary estate and land dispute resolutions, among others.
Chilonga said the law restricts sale of private land to non-Malawians.
Ruth Lufeyo, from Zambwe Village, T/A Mwansambo, said she is happy that the new law guarantees ownership of land for the benefit of one’s children and relatives.