Some communities in Salima have called on Members of Parliament to pass land related bills during the current Parliament sitting, saying the bills will enable citizens to have negotiating powers over their land when investors want to buy land.
The call was made during an interactive meeting which was organised by LandNet with funding from International Land Coalition.
Speaking during the meeting, spokesperson of concerned people of Salima, Muhammad Chingomanje, said the land bill will ensure they get the right compensation unlike now when investors decide the amount of compensation to affected people.
Chingomanje said: “The land bills will bring justice to land governance. At the moment investors do not adequately compensate land owners sitting on customary land. For example, when a certain company wanted to use our land here in Traditional Authority (T/A) Kulunda, majority of chiefs got as low as K150 000 (about $217) as compensation for the whole village of up to 70 households. This is unfair.
“But once the Land Bills are passed, we will have certificates to show ownership of our land which we inherited from our forefathers. So we will have powers to charge the price on the land.”
Speaking in a separate interview, chairperson of Natural Resources and Climate Change committee Werani Chilenga assured the community and all Malawians that the land bills will be discussed during the current Parliament sitting.
“There is hope that the 10 land-related bills will be discussed during this Parliament sitting. Chances are high that is will be done shortly,” said Chilenga.
LandNet senior program officer Tawonga Chihana said the previous land bill lacked proper procedure for land compensation and the citizens were the major losers.
She, therefore, agreed with Salima communities in urging for speedy passing of the land bills so that citizens can satisfactorily benefit from their land. n