Malawi: Govt Reunites Warring Ex-Press Agriculture Employees Resettled in Mchinji

Malawi Government in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have successfully reunited two groups of former employees of Press Agriculture Limited who were resettled at Lusa Estate 69 in Mchinji.

The Government through the Office of the President and Cabinet recently resettled hundreds of ex-Press Agriculture Limited employees from Kasungu to Lusa Estate in Mchinji. However, since they resettled at the farm in 2018, the reallocated ex-employees have engaged in fierce battles among themselves over a number of issues, including land distribution and leadership.

The conflict got worse towards the end of 2021 when two groups calling themselves Asomanje and the other calling Aboma fought over a misunderstanding on leadership and land redistribution.

With financial support from UNDP, the Ministry of National Unity in collaboration with other key stakeholders from the Office of the President, Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC), Kasungu and Mchinji District Councils organized an interest-based mediation to help in bringing back unity between the two groups.

The mediation took place from 27th to 28th April, 2022, where the camps resolved to sheathe their daggers and let peace and unity reign among them.

And speaking during the agreement signing ceremony for the amicable conflict resolution at Lusa Estate 69 on Tuesday, Minister of National Unity Timothy Pagonachi Mtambo commended the two groups for burying their differences to purse social and economic activities that can benefit their families.

Mtambo said it was sad that the conflict got out of hand thereby distracting people from doing things that could help in developing not only their households and communities, but the nation at large.

“I would like to remind us all that the Tonse Alliance Government under the leadership of His Excellency Dr. Lazarus Chakwera, the President of the Republic of Malawi, remains committed to the sustenance of peace and unity in Malawi in order to establish harmony, order, justice and a prosperous society that upholds the fulfillment of human rights and dignity for all.

“My ministry is entrusted to champion this cause through promotion of sustainable peace and unity for resilience, patriotism, accountable governance and inclusive national development,” he said.

Mtambo asked Traditional Authority (T/A) Kapondo to integrate the resettlers, stressing that this must be a long-term development plan so that nobody should bring about unnecessary divisions that might result in another conflict.

“To the settlers at Lusa Estate, you have firsthand experience of how conflicts can be destructive and stressful. I would like to call upon you to be first in peace building and conflict prevention. Most of you, if not all, are aware that for the first time in the history of Malawi, we now have a law meant to promote and sustain peace,” he said.

In his remarks, T/A Kapondo assured the government of his support towards the settlers.

Meanwhile, Mtambo has commended UNDP for providing financial support for the mediation through its Social Cohesion Project.

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