Malawi: Land Grab - Kanengo Northgate Implicated, Chief Want Probe

TA Chitukula demands probe at Ministry of Lands and Kanengo Northgate Project over a title deed for a land the company did not buy.

Traditional Authority (T/A) Chitukula of Lilongwe has demanded that Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) should institute investigations into how GM Properties Limited managed to secure a title deed for a land the company failed to compensate its settlers in Kuliyani and Mwambakanthu Villages in 2006.

The company, which owns the Kanengo Northgate Project, claims ownership over a vast piece of land in one of Lilongwe's urban poor Area 26 despite documents showing that it has not settled compensations for the locals.

Nyasa Times has seen a letter from the Chief Legal Aid Advocate dated 28th September 2006 advising GM Properties Limited to compensate and resettle the people 'who have been affected by the project as soon as possible, preferably before the rains'.

At the time, the Chief Legal Aid Advocate indicated to the company that a place had been identified in Salima where the government intended to resettle the people.

"As soon as we finalize matters, we shall advise you accordingly," reads part of the letter signed by H.L. Jiya.

This notwithstanding, on 20 May 2021, GM Properties Limited obtained a court order restraining the settlers from developing their land.

The development has angered T/A Chitukula who feels the company wants to take advantage of the plight of his subjects to grab their land.

"I will not allow that to happen to my subjects. I vow not to accept my subjects to suffer injustice at the hands of a businessman who failed to compensate them. We have documentation to prove that this company failed to compensate the people," he said.

"We have evidence aplenty to show that Maluza failed to compensate my subjects in 2006. So, how did he get the title deed for the land? I demand that ACB must investigate this matter," added Chitukula.

Ironically, Asian businessperson Azhar Chaudhry and Norman Chisale, security aide to former President Peter Mutharika, are being investigated following revelations that the over 100 hectares of land on which the project sits was acquired dubiously.

In an earlier interview, Village Head Kuliyani described the tactics GM Properties Limited is using to displace them as a big joke. He vowed that he and his subjects are not moving an inch from their ancestral land until GM Properties Limited compensates them.

"We know that this is a ploy by the company to cow us into giving up our land for free. But I wish to assure them that we are going nowhere! Let them give us the money, and then we will move out. Without that, I swear by my late grandparents that we are not moving an inch on this land because Kanengo Northgate Project did not compensate us," he vowed.

The Minister of Lands Kezzie Msukwa was in a remote area where network was poor when Nyasa Times rang him to comment on the matter.

However, in previous engagements, Msukwa also vowed that the Tonse Alliance government will not allow crooked businesspersons to grab land from the people.

More From: Nyasa Times

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