Communities threaten to close Chitakale Estate over land dispute

Concerned citizens in Mulanje have threatened to close Chitakale Estate over the company’s decision to turn Chitakale football ground into a sugarcane field.

The community members from Village Head Kumwamba in Traditional Authority Mabuka in Mulanje on Thursday delivered a petition to the District Commissioner to express their concerns on the issue.

They demanded that authorities should respond to their concerns in three days or the villagers will close the estate.

According to the community members, Chitakale Tea Estate which is owned by Mulli Brothers has failed to respect boundaries between the estate and Kumwamba Village.

chairperson for the group, Martin Komiha said the estate cannot plant sugarcane on the ground because the land does not belong to the company and it is the only sports ground for people from several communities.

“We are wondering why the estate continues to use land that belongs to Kumwamba Village.

“This is contrary to the High Court and Supreme Court rulings in the case between Chitakale Plantation and Mary Woodworth, Director of Friends of Mulanje Orphans (FOMO),” said Komiha.

He also claimed that some people working at the estate are not paid and are being abused.

Komiha added that some of their relations have been working at the plantation for a long time without pay.

Mulanje District Commissioner, Stallichi Mwambiwa, said his office will engage all parties involved in order to resolve the issues raised in the petition.