By Joseph Mbughi
Chitipa Civil Society Network (CSN) has expressed concern over the appointment and retention of a Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) clerk as acting district lands officer for Chitipa.
In a letter dated 20th August, 2020, signed by chairperson for Civil Society Network Sydney Simwaka, the network said it is dissatisfied with how the District Lands Office (DLO) has been managed over the last 10 months.
According to CSN, the District Council has powers and mandate to appoint any officer on an acting position to any office as it pleases.
But CSN has said it has found it disturbing to note that the District Lands Officer (DLO) which is under the Directorate of Planning and Development is still being managed by the Electoral Commission official.
According to CSN, despite the fact that the district council has a District Planning Officer who was deployed in February, 2020, citizens are always referred to MEC offices for land related issues and they find it as an anomaly which needs redress.
The network said it tried to engage the lands office and other relevant authorities on the issue but this has proved futile.
On 27th May, 2020, CSN asked Commissioner for Lands Anthony Nzima on when an officer to Chitipa would be deployed and Nzima assured them that he would follow up on the issue but there has been no further response.
CSN in its letter also questioned why some plots have been allocated in the district when the plot allocation committee has not met since February, 2020.
The organisation in its letter has also raised concern over the mushrooming of booths in the district saying it is not known as to who is allocating the land.