Levels of poverty for fishers of Maganga Village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Maganga in Salima are likely to worsen if the occupant of M’malere Island maintains his stand of not allowing them to use the land tract.
Locals say the island belongs to Lake Malawi National Park, but was given to a Mr. Jimmy, an Asian investor, who owns a lodge on it.
Fishers have since time immemorial been using the island as a ‘waiting bay’ whenever they go fishing and also when the weather on the lake becomes bad.
But recently, the fishers woke up to a rude awakening when they learnt that Jimmy has stopped them from using the island.
The aggrieved fishers petitioned the office of the district commissioner (DC) last month and were told to wait until August 30 2015 for the council to resolve the matter.
Speaking on Tuesday during a community citizen forum follow-up meeting organised by the National Initiative for Civic Education (Nice) Trust at Maganga Village, chairperson of Maganga Citizen Forum, Haroon Chapola, said communities learnt with dismay the newly introduced rules and condemned them.
Said Chapola: “As I am talking, we have some fishers’ nets that have been seized by the investor’s employees,” he added while pledging to take the law into their own hands if they will not be assisted accordingly. n