CDEDI organize demos over Mulanje, Thyolo land disputes

Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) will tomorrow lead people in Thyolo and Mulanje districts in demonstrations over land disputes.

Speaking to journalists on Tuesday in Blantyre, CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa said they have called the demonstrations as one way of forcing the government to act on the Thyolo, Mulanje land disputes which has been there for years.

Namiwa said the country is still under land colonization though it gained independence 57 years ago claiming most of the land, including all the prime land, is in the hands of foreign nationals.

He speculated that all the past heads of state and President Lazarus Chakwera too are in one way or the other beneficiaries of tea plantations which belong to foreign nationals saying their failure to act on the matter leaves people with many questions.

Namiwa then called on all well-meaning Malawians who sympathise with the plight of Mulanje and Thyolo people, to join the Thursday’s peaceful demonstrations which seek to push for government’s action on the issue.

The protests which will start at 10:00AM, will in Thyolo district start from Khonjeni turnoff to Council offices; while in Mulanje district, the protests will start from Nkhonya via Chitakale, to the Council offices, where petitions will be delivered.

“We are this Thursday, 17th June 2021, leading the forgotten landless people in Thyolo and Mulanje districts, and all well-meaning Malawians who sympathise with the plight of these people, in peaceful demonstrations. We want our land back.

“People in Thyolo and Mulanje districts are living in fear, and are more or less like half human beings, since the only fundamental natural resource that sustains life, was violently grabbed from their ancestors at gun point by the white settlers from Britain,” said Namiwa.

Namiwa also worried that some estate owners have resorted to sponsoring Malawi Police Service through the Blantyre, Thyolo, Luchenza and Khonjeni police establishments, to assault communities who are found close to the teal plantations.

He added that scores of people have been injured, and left with scars after sustaining injuries as a result of merciless beatings by the police and has since warned to commence legal proceedings against the perpetrators, in their individual capacities.

“We have the details of all those who have been doing this and we are saying they will soon be known to the public because we are soon commencing legal proceedings in their individual capacities,” he added.

CDEDI has reminded the Malawi President and the Inspector General of Police that Malawi is not a police state and that the police should immediately stop unwarranted arrests, assault and victimization of the citizens whose only crime is demanding what is rightfully theirs.

Meanwhile, the Malawi Police Service through its national police spokesperson James Kadadzela has said that they will soon launch an investigation into the allegations