Police in the capital Lilongwe have arrested Peoples Land Organization (PLO) leader Vincent Wandale for allegedly leading Malawians in Thyolo and Mulanje to grab land from Tea Estates on Thursday last week.
Wandale’s arrest came barely hours after Police arrested over 16 people during the Land grabbing fracas at Conforzi Tea Estate which saw Police firing teargas at villagers and injuring others in the process.
PLO leader confirmed of the arrest in a short statement posted on his official facebook page seen by FaceofMalawi reporter.
“ Im in police custody in lilongwe. As head of state im under immunity by the viena convention. As an act happening after issuing a declaration of war i am a prisoner of war,” reads the statement.
In a statement issued by Minister of Information Patricia Kaliati after the Thyolo fracas, government described the incident as barbaric and illegal
“The Conforzi Estate is a privately owned tea plantation, an agricultural business; as such it has to conform to a number of international standards that includes ensuring that sufficient land is left fallow to conserve natural habitat, protect crops from disease and support the management of water.
“On Thursday, September 1 2016 a number of local people from the Thyolo area illegally occupied private land owned by the Conforzi Estate. This encroachment of private land was illegal and is therefore now a matter between the land owner and those who have trespassed on the land, to be resolved by the Courts,” reads the statement in part.
Added Kaliati: “The public is hereby being assured that Government is working with major land owners across the Country including sugar and tea plantation owners and the church to develop programmes that will assist in alleviating poverty and improving food security.”