Tuesday, April 16
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Bishop Mackenzie School Land Owned By Private Name

The elite Bishop Mackenzie International School’s 30.048 hectares of land is registered in a private name, it has emerged.

This means that the land on which Bishop Mackenzie is situated is not in government’s or the school’s name.

Alongside Sir Harry Johnson in Zomba and St Andrew’s and Hill View in Blantyre, Bishop Mackenzie International School is one of the international grammar schools the government is seeking to reclaim.

The schools used to be managed through the now-defunct Designated Schools Board before 1999.

Following the dissolution of the Designated Schools Board, the schools are being managed by boards of trustees.

In an interview yesterday, Attorney General Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda said the move to reclaim the schools in question is part of the assets recovery programme which the government has embarked on.

He confirmed the land ownership question for the Lilongwe-based school.

According to him, the land was fraudulently transferred to an Asian.

“It is not only that land. I can confirm that we have discovered that a lot of land in most parts of the country was sold fraudulently,” Nyirenda said.

He said the decision to reclaim designated schools follows an in-depth investigation into how the schools were handed over to the boards of trustees.

Nyirenda said government will reclaim the land and recover all government assets that were sold dubiously.

Alongside the Bishop Mackenzie land, government is also involved in a number of land repossession battles at the moment.

One of them involves a British national who owns land title number Lumbadzi 55/360 and title number Lumbadzi 55/361 in Lilongwe measuring 53. 216 hectares and 35.070 hectares respectively.

The matter is currently in court as government fight to repossess it for due to non-utilisation.

According to the court documents, the owners proposed to utilise the land for the construction of a warehouse, servant quarters and brick wall fence and were supposed to complete developing their land within two years from August 1, 2010 as per the terms in their lease.

Deputy Minister of Lands Deus Gumba on Thursday said government amended land laws to bring sanity on land issues in the country.

“The amended land laws have, among others, addressed concerns on sale or grant of land to non-citizens, sale of vacant freehold or leasehold land, sale of customary estates, payment of application fees by citizens when applying for a customary estate, role of traditional leaders in management and administration of customary land and the status of freehold land,” he said

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