Thirty chiefs and people calling themselves concerned citizens from Rumphi yesterday petitioned members of Parliament (MPs) to repeal the Customary Land Act which was passed in 2016. They argued that the Act has brought a sour relationship between chiefs and their subjects.
Group village head Kawaza Mawe of Rumphi, who handed over the petition to chairperson of the Agricultural Committee of Parliament, Joseph Chidanti Malunga, said chiefs are not in favour of the law.
According to the chiefs, it is an abomination in their culture for them to be told to pay for land as stipulated in the law under Section 20 sub-section 1. “If this government is a listening government, then this law should be repealed,” he said. In his remarks, Malunga, who is also MP for Nsanje South West, said he feels ashamed that the legislators passed a Bill that is not wanted by the people.
He promised them that he will relay the message to relevant authorities to look into the matter. “We are embarrassed. This clearly shows that we passed a Bill that the majority of Malawians do not like. It is high time we heard the concerns and see how the law can be repealed.
This is an indication that we did not do our duty properly,” he said. Last November, Parliament passed Registered Land (Amendment) Bill that is giving the land registration approval powers from the minister responsible for land to customary land committees and traditional authorities.