Fire destroys 70 hectares of sugarcane at Salima Sugar

Fire allegedly started by community members has destroyed 70 hectares of sugarcane and irrigation infrastructure worth K330 Million at Salima Sugar Company Malawi.

The company said on its Facebook page today that the arson attack was carried out on Friday allegedly by community members supported by chiefs.

“Management would like to condemn people that started the fire yesterday 23 October 2020 at our Estate that has destroyed 70 hectares of our sugarcane and irrigation infrastructure worth K330 Million. We urge Chiefs and the communities around the Estate to avoid such behaviour as it retards development and has an effect on Company operations,” the company said in a statement.

The company added that it will work with the authorities in bringing the perpetrators to justice.

Salima Sugar Company which is co-owned by the Government of Malawi owns over 4,000 hectares of land.

The incident in Salima comes days after communities in Lilongwe set on fire building and vehicles at Kumbali Lodge over land wrangle.

Lodge owner Guy Pickering said property worth K375 million was destroyed during the attack on Sunday when villagers stormed the premises and set buildings and vehicles on fire.

The residents have been claiming ownership of 754 hectares of land which Pickering bought 21 years ago.

President Lazarus Chakwera visited the place on Wednesday and urged people to respect the rule of law including in cases where there are wrangles.