Deputy Minister of Lands, Deus Gumba, has lamented the tendency of buying and selling of customary (traditional) land by some estate agencies, which has compelled the ministry to seek an amendment of real estate laws.
Speaking at a ministerial press conference on amended land laws in Lilongwe on Friday, Gumba observed the illegal and chaotic nature in which land is being sold amongst Malawians and non-Malawian nationals, which creates commotion.
“As government, we are concerned about the disorderly buying and selling of land in the country, and so we want clear regulation of both legal and illegal estate agents so that their roles and responsibilities are clearly documented.
“A lot of people are deceived with news on radio and televisions about the selling of land in small bits per acre which is illegal,” he said.
The deputy minister also warned against the selling of unoccupied private land in Lilongwe West (also known as Ndunda Area) which was registered in the names of family representatives to become private land with the purpose of securing land tenure to support farming.
Gumba further condemned some members of the public who encroach on public and private land such as road reserves, river reserves, game reserves and forest reserves, saying encroaching into someone’s land and developing it without prior permission from the owner is illegal.
“Encroachment of public land attracts a fine of K500, 000 and imprisonment to three (3) years upon conviction.
“The role of government is to protect public land which directly falls under its jurisdiction. The ministry will, therefore, issue eviction orders to all encroachers of public land,” he said.
In view of the same, the deputy minister said all existing and potential investors are encouraged to comply with the necessary laws in order to fully participate in the development of the country.
Meanwhile, Gumba has said his ministry will build the capacity of Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (MITC) so that it is able to assist potential investors to access land for investment.
Observation has it that in the country, there are number of organisations and individuals so called estate agents which buy traditional land and sell it to individuals. It is not very clear how these are regulated.