Lands Deputy Minister Abida Mia Echoes Malawi President’s Zero Tolerance On Corruption
By Leo Mkhuwala
Amid revelations of serious land issues in Zomba City, Deputy Minister of Lands, Abida Sidik Mia has during her Monday visit to the headquarters of the old Capital City of Malawi, reverberated strong determination on zero tolerance on corruption by the Malawi leader, Dr. Lazarus Chakwera especially on issues of land acquisition.
The Minister who took some time to visit an illegally acquired piece of land (whose matter is currently in court) on the slopes of Ndangopuma Hill within the protected perimeters of Zomba Mountain, warned that the long arm of the law will not spare anyone involved in land related dubious dealings.
Earlier in her remarks during a meeting with City officials at the Zomba Civic Center and also at the Physical Planning regional offices Mia appealed to those involved in the corrupt malpractice to “feel free to amicably return the land” which was transacted illegally before tough and serious measures of bringing them to book are considered as an option.
In the words of Director of Administration in the Ministry of Lands, Duncan Chione there is need to extend the city boundaries to 7 miles on the southern part and to Songani on the nothern side along the M1 road and on the eastern side the extension should be made way up to 9 miles along the Zomba-Jali road.
The other gray area in relation to land that needs to be adressed is the issue of multiple landlords as four different entities namely Ministry of Lands, Chiefs, Housing and the District Commissioner each claimed direct control of land, a development that has contributed to multiple land ownership as one piece of land is sold for more than once.
So far, since assuming her office a few weeks ago, Deputy Minister Abida Mia has toured some districts in the northern part of Malawi including Chitipa, Rumphi, Karonga.