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Church Leaders Intervene in Chikhwawa Land Wrangle

CHIKHWAWA: Barely a few days after 300 Chikhwawa villagers protested against the decision by Traditional Authority Ngowe to sell 10,000 hectares of land to former Cabinet Minister Clement Khembo, Church leaders in the district have also intervened on the matter.

The communities and the church leaders claim that Mr. Khembo has acquired the land dubiously, after only agreeing terms with T/A Ngowe and not the community who own the land.

Pastor Lapson Mbewe of Redemption Village Bible Teaching ministries organized special prayers on Wednesday, where pastors from various churches sought divine intervention on the matter.

The land in question stretches from Mwananjobvu to Masanduko and from Konzere to Mchacha.

Senior Group Village Headman Konzere told zodiak online that villagers in the areas of Sub T/A Masache and Ngowe in Chikhwawa have all along depended on this land for cultivation.

“Communities here feel what T/A Ngowe has done in selling out the land to the former Minister will negatively affect a number of families. This is why we are protesting the arrangement,” said Village Headman Konzere.

But T/A Ngowe claims that he consulted the villagers on the matter and said he has only leased out 1,584 hectares not 10,000 hectares as being claimed.

According to records in T/A Ngowe's possession, over 40 local leaders signed documents from the Commissioner of Lands for the south, allowing Mr. Khembo to lease the land for a sugar cane project.  - Zodiak Online

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+1 #4 Joji Mwanawanjovu 2012-02-21 08:33
Mr.Khembo should consider withdrawing now than later, because he will find his delayed exit much more expensive.
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+2 #3 King Norman 2012-02-21 06:23
I am surprised at the stand taken by my TA Ngowe. One wonders as to his main interest in giving the land to one individual who does not even belong to that area. If indeed TA Ngowe wanted development, he should have worked hard with the MP for the area on how best the land can be used other than giving it to one elderly individual. The statistics by Zodiak indicates of 300 villagers as opposing the deal. Why not listening to them and halt the whole issue. The whole saga smacks of contreversy. The chiefs in general should not forget that even though they are custodians of customary lands, they hold that power on trust. Without people they would not be chiefs. They should act their powers with ingenuity otherwise they may end up imagining that they have powers to sell their subjects. It is a privilege by lineage that they are chiefs and that we cannot all be chiefs. Let the interests of the people be priotised. Antagonising each other will not help.
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+2 #2 Tiferanji 2012-02-20 18:50
Mr. Khembo would just want to acquire the land and then sell it to Illovo. He does not have money to develop the land. Besides Mr. Khembo has never done something tangible. He is a failure. Where is his DDK PVT School that he started at Domasi in CK? If Mr. Khembo wants to bring meaningful development to CK let him start with his home area, his constituency first before going to Mwanawanjobvu. Charity begins at home baba. We the people of CK south will fight him.
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+2 #1 yumi 2012-02-19 12:25
This is very strange. Why should it be Khembo leasing the land to Illovo and not the farmers themselves? each farmer can be asked whwther he agrees to lease or sell his land to Illovo or not not through Khembo. is there any form of corruption here? I support the villagers in STA Masache and TA Ngowe to rise up against this! TA Ngowe should also be followed up for possible corruption? Where is the MP Joseph Tembo? Just sitting phwi and not intervening?
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