Minister of Lands, Kezzie Msukwa, wants President Lazarus Chakwera’s intervention in a dispute over Nkhozo Estate in Rumphi which Africa Invest wants to sell but communities say should be given back to them.
The 2500 hectares of land in question used to be customary before government took control with consent of the then leaders in the area.
Some of the community members were compensated over the same, according to records. The land then changed to public and was sold to Africa Invest Malawi Limited.
The company now wants to sell the Estate to Tropha but communities says they should be given back the land.
Malawi News Agency (MANA) reported that Msukwa recently held a community dialogue with people of the area at Nkhozo in the district.
According to MANA, the Minister expressed concern that the dispute has dragged for so long and there is a need for a lasting solution which he hoped would be found after the president’s intervention.
“This is our third engagement and, in a way, it is a stalemate. But there is somewhere we can start from. The next step is that I have to take it up with other MDAs (ministries, departments and agencies) so that when we report to the Head of State, it has to include a technical view,” he said.
Msukwa also said he would engage the owner of the estate to see how best the issue can be handled.
On his part, Acting Paramount Chief Chikulamayembe, asked communities in the area to remain calm and wait for feedback from the President.
Speaking on behalf of affected community members from Nkhozo, Group Village Headman Taona Gondwe urged government to find a solution that would cater for the interests of its people.