By Solister Mogha
Zomba, July 29, Mana: Deputy Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Abida Mia has made an assurance that government will get back all the land and plots that were acquired illegally and prosecute everyone involved in the illegal transaction.
Speaking during a familiarization tour to Zomba City Council, the lands office and some disputed plots within the city, Mia said government has learnt with shock that a lot of land in the country was being lost through illegal transactions.
She, however, said her ministry would run a rigorous campaign aimed at verifying ownership of plots in all the districts and those found to have gotten the land illegally would be snatched of the property.
“I have discovered a lot of mess in distribution and allocation of plots to people. We have some people who have the right documents but are in protected areas and some do not even have documents of proof at all. We cannot as a country, continue losing land at the expense of some selfish individuals.
“My message is just clear; we will get back all the land acquired illegally and we will spare no officer who processed these illegal transactions,” she said.
The minister warned government will go ahead to demolish all constructions in protected areas saying no compensation would be made for such.
“What pains me most is that no single Kwacha was remitted to government for some of the legal plots, this is stealing. This government will not tolerate corruption and time for corrupt officers is over,” Mia said.
She added, “In case some doubt about this, we have since started processing cases that are before the court and the first one is that of Ndangopuma Hill in Zomba where the owner is using fake documents.”
Mia has since threatened officers under her ministry to start giving back the money they got in illegal transaction before; the ministry takes a disastrous action against them.
On a lighter note, the minister promised to address some of challenges facing the land offices among which includes; computers, office rooms and vehicles for their easy mobility.
Mayor for Zomba City, Benson Bula agreed with the Minister about illegal transaction of land, which he said, poses a major threat on the future generation.
Bulla said Zomba was the worst council and land officers shamelessly sell one plot to several people.
“The visit by the minister is a great opportunity for us, we are sure that some of the challenges we have been facing especially the plot scam will be addressed.” Bula said.
Chief Executive Officer for Zomba, Charles Thombozi attributed the plot fraud to multiple landlords in the city.
Thombozi said there is no clear separation of land for the city council, land office and Malawi Housing.
“We would like the ministry to clearly direct as to who is the landlord in the city, we are sure by that, we will reduce some of the challenges of land wrangles we are experiencing,” he said.