Women’s Legal Resource Centre (Wolrec) in Salima has expressed worry over an increase in land injustices in the district, saying it is affecting development.
According the non-governmental organisation (NGO) spearheading women’s access to justice, the district is recording overwhelming cases which take time for victims to realise justice.
In an interview on Thursday, Salima district Wolrec project officer Stella Issa said customary land wrangles are increasingly impacting on locals who have little access to legal proceedings.
She said court cases involving land disputes are lengthy and expensive.
“As you know, the new Customary Land Act has removed powers from local leaders. Most rural land victims are required to travel to Lilongwe for them to access justice they used to access at their doorsteps. This has led to the piling up of land injustice cases in our communities,” she said.
Issa has since suggested that government should establish alternative structures to handle land disputes starting at village level.
In a separate interview, Senior Chief Kalonga said the main challenge is that since they were barred from handling land-related cases, there are no mechanisms to resolve such wrangles at community level.
In a recent land discussion Wolrec organised with support from We-Effect, it was revealed that the district registered 15 land wrangles in two months which are yet to be resolved. n