The Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has cancelled plans to hold demonstrations over the land grab at Livimbo School after discovering that the land was not sold to anyone.
The cancellation of the demos comes after the dialogue which the grouping as well as Ministry of Lands Housing and Urban Planning officials conducted at the site and site visit which has put to light that the land was encroached partially by Rahid and Patel warehouse which is closer to the school’s premises.
Speaking with reporters, Chairperson for the grouping Timothy Mtambo said HRDC believes in engagement through meetings including demonstrations and asked the government through the ministry to always provide a platform to its citizens whenever such issues arises.
Mtambo added by commending the minister for being progressive in the initiative of the process and hoped that such processes will as well considered in other ministries for the development of the country.
“The site visit has established that the encroachment happened and this has to be addressed,” he explained.
Mtambo added that Livimbo issue has opened their eyes since Malawians are crying out there failing to access land in the country while others have access to the same.
He asked government to document its lands to avoid such issues.
In his remarks, Minister responsible Symon Vuwa Kaunda said that they are glad that the matter has been resolved and Malawians are now aware that the land was not sold to anyone.
Kaunda went on to say that government through the ministry going onwards will not tolerate any issues to do with corruption and pledged to ensure that all the government land that was encroached on is recovered.
Speaking during the minister’s visit, Ishmael Wadi who is legal Practitioner for Rahid and Patel (encroachers) said they will seek a court order to restrain government from demolishing the warehouses until the matter is solved.
On their part, Livimbo School officials pleaded with the ministry and HRDC to quickly resolve the matter saying it is disturbing students and making them to lose concentration during class lessons.
Livimbo institution which consists of Primary and Secondary schools has 7.07 hectares of land instead of 8 hectares due to the encroachment.