Chakwera given 14 days to act on Thyolo, Mulanje land dispute


The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has given Malawi president, Dr Lazarus Chakwera, 14 days to resolve the dispute over land between residents and estates in Thyolo and Mulanje.

This is according to a CDEDI letter addressed to the Malawi president dated Monday, December 7, and signed by its Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa.

Namiwa through the letter said CDEDI believes that the land issue isn’t new to the president since it has ever been brought to the attention of almost all former heads is State who ignored it.

He added that CDEDI is saddened that people under Traditional Authority Bvumbwe, Nchiramwera and Kapichi in Thyolo district and T/A Njema in Mulanje district are being denied justice to reclaim their only ancestral principal inheritance.

According to Namiwa, landless people in Thyolo and Mulanje have been receiving death threats for seeking justice on the matter hence their call for Chakwera’s intervention on the matter.

He also noted that Thyolo and Mulanje districts are suffering from high illiteracy levels due to school dropouts as a result of child labour in the estates, early marriages; high HIV/AIDS prevalence rate; stunted growth due to underfeeding; high poverty levels and acute perennial hunger.

The NGO said it cannot, therefore, afford the status quo to remain as it is, hence its appeal to Chakwera, to swiftly move in to diffuse this seemingly ticking bomb and has since given the president 14 days to address the matter.

“On behalf of the landless people of Thyolo and Mulanje districts, CDEDI has put the following options on the table for your consideration, Compensation and relocation of the landless and badly affected people, partitioning of all the land in question and Surrendering of the land by the Estates to the locals.

“Your Excellency, considering the length of the time the communities have waited for justice over the matter, as well as the urgency of the matter, CDEDI is giving you fourteen (14) working days to intervene on the matter,” reads part of the letter to the president.

Namiwa added that if Chakwera chooses to ignore requests by these landless people just as his predecessors, the NGO will be left with no choice but to drag the Estate owners to court in the United Kingdom, through the UK human rights lawyers.

Namiwa further said CDEDI will relentlessly be mobilizing the affected people to use all the legally and peaceful means available to push both the Malawi and the UK Governments to act the matter.