By Ireen Kayira, MANA
THE National Youth Manifesto has called for the need to stop selling land to foreigners under any circumstance by 2020.
The National Youth Manifesto which is being championed by Youth Decide was launched in Lilongwe on Wednesday under the theme “Consolidating Malawi’s youth development agenda through collective youth voice and agency.”
Youth Decide team leader Charles Kajoloweka said the major concern of young people in the country is the rate at which Malawians are losing land to foreigners.
“We all know that land is critical for any country to develop. For instance, if we want to engage young people in agriculture, the first capital they will need is land.
“So it doesn’t make sense to lose land to foreigners who are not investors at all,” Kajoloweka said.
He added that young people are concerned that in their own country they have no land which is very surprising because it is their birthright as Malawian citizens.
Kajoloweka further said there is a lot of idle land being owned by foreign business entities yet there is a majority of poor Malawians who need it for farming.
“Our ultimate aim is to make sure that every Malawian whether poor or rich has access to land. “
Currently, we have observed that more land is being sold to the rich, which is very unfair to poor people,” he said.
Apart from denying foreigners access to land, the manifesto is also advocating for the amendment of the Land Act to pave way for youth presentation in all land committees by year 2021.
“Convert all freehold land to leasehold to avoid perpetual ownership and cater for landless young people by year 2021,” the manifesto reads.