By Mphatso Nkuonera, MANA
Illegal development of plots and encroachment in the country are increasing at an alarming rate because of some corruption officials who were supposed to protect the citizens by following laws in their operations but are not doing so.
Newly appointed Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Kamlepo Kalua made the remarks on Thursday, during an inspection exercise in Area 44, in Lilongwe.
The exercise was done to appreciate various sites which are being developed against city plans.
He admitted that the ministry is too corrupt but warned those engaging in malpractice saying the honeymoon is over saying he has already sat down with all responsible personnel at his office in addressing the challenge.
“I have also discovered that there is a parallel structure at this ministry with official stamps and all what it takes to be a ministry. These people must be connected.
“I have to fight that war and I will win because I don’t fear corrupt people who are more politicallyconnected. They are arrogant and this is the war I have declared against, which the president wants,” he said, adding city councils should also consider uprooting corrupt officials.
He said his ministry will summon all suspected encroachers from various parts of the country to be heard before government takes drastic measures in order to reverse the situation.
“I don’t want politically connected people to be at the centre stage of land grabbing or illegal development, think of a poor Malawian. If I tolerate this vice, who will defend them?” wondered the minister.
He, then, his ministry will not just start punishing the land encroachers before hearing them first saying natural justice has to be applied.
The Minister warned those who are aiding unqualified foreigners to acquire land at the expense of Malawians.
He, therefore, gave a ministerial directive that all locals dwelling around the areas being developed should be helped to live a better life too.
“To live in a modern society, we need to consider local people living around these mansions to modernise their houses, using the ‘Cement and Malata Subsidy Programme.’
There is money for that purpose, and government cannot allow its people languishing in poverty,” he said.
The minister’s revelations of corrupt officials come at a time when encroachment issues have been hitting headlines in the country, although the illegal developers seem to be thriving.