Chiefs appeal to Govt over land wrangles

Chief Mutondo makes his 2011 Kazanga ceremonial entry
Traditional leaders request Government to urgently provide them with maps that clearly show the boundaries separating different chiefdoms to avoid conflicts between chiefs as well as subjects from different chiefdoms.

Speaking during separate human rights sensitization meetings with Chief Phikamalaza of the Ngoni at his Efumbeni palace in Lundazi and later with his subjects, the chief expressed worry at the regularity with which he was having boundary disputes with neighbouring chiefdoms, some of which have led to his subjects being evicted from the land that has been passed on to them through generations.

The chief told the Human Rights Commission that some of his subjects had lost their land through a court which ruled that they had encroached on a businessman’s land, who is said to have bought the land from a neghbouring chief.

Chief Phikamalaza predicted that there would be more of such conflicts because of the massive commercialization of traditional land.

And one subject warned that there would soon be bloodshed if the trend continued where what he termed as %u201Cforeigners%u201D were allowed to emerge from nowhere and use money to take the indigenous owners of land to court, declare them squatters and render them landless.

Similar calls were made by Senior Chief Mwase Lundazi of the Chewa and by the Secretary General of the Mphamba Royal Establishment of the Tumbuka, a Mr Mbeba, both of whom also expressed worry at the increasing numbers of succession disputes, which they said Government should help put to an end.

The Human Rights Commission has since September 7th been conducting human rights sensitization in Lundazi and Chama districts.