Land Wrangle Ensues in Machinga

A Land ownership wrangle of Mgodi estate area has erupted between local chiefs and district council authorities in Machinga as the chiefs allege that the authorities are illegally selling plots around the estate which was given to the communities by government.

Senior Chief Mlomba of the area says the estate was procured by Malawi government with an aim of providing farm fields to the area's 2016 flood survivors.

He further alleges that council officials are selling the plots without their knowledge, saying the authorities have for several times presented K15 million sales profits, yet they have evidence showing profits higher than that.

Mlomba says the land was meant for farming and the other part was meant for a construction of a school, a police station and a sports stadium.

"We are very worried with how some top council officials are selling our land meant for township development in my area. They have given us reports indicating profits made from the sales but we say no because we know part of the money has been pocketed," said Chief Mlomba.

"This land was given to us by government but it's being sold out by the authorities. We will not allow this to continue, maybe the Anti-Corruption Bureau should act," he added.

Machinga District Director of Planning and Development, MacPherson Mwakhwawa has denied the allegations saying the land was given to District Commissioner's office to facilitate the land distribution exercise.

Mwakhwawa says the process has been transparent as planning of a township on some plots was advertised in newspapers for those interested in developing the area to show interest.

"This is not true because we have been following open procedures to be transparent enough. We even have the papers for the payments made by eight interested investors on the plot. We have over five hundred plots remaining to be sold," said Mwakhwawa.

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