By Patrick Chihami
Mulanje is one of the districts in Malawi where some investors from Kenya established Tea Estates consisting of plantations and production factories in the 1990’s through leasehold ownership contract with Malawian government. The plantations occupied a lot of hectares of land leaving the local residents with small portions of land, promising them job opportunities with good working conditions like salaries, improved houses and building schools for their children.
Since that time, the population has been increasing due to high birth rates and migration of people from Mozambique in search of better living conditions in the Estates. There has been a lot of pressure on the small land left for people to use for farming, settlements and building structures like schools and markets since the estate management cannot manage to solve all their communal problems. Muloza Border residents are suffering as it has led to congested settlement patterns, food insecurity amongst families, deforestation and land disputes with the estates.
As a step of trying to get back some of the land for years, some authorities like Village Chiefs and Non-Governmental Organizations have been taking the case to court in hopes of seeking justice but nothing has changed.
Good living standard is the first priority for everyone on earth. Muloza people are feeling segregated in their own country with a contract having terms that can be changed. Now it’s time for Malawian Government to take the case seriously and intervene in order to serve the people which they promised a better life just a year ago.