President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika has dismissed media reports indicating that there is land grab from villagers by multilateral organizations.

Mutharika dismissed the reports in an interview with BBC’s Hard Talk programmed aired on Monday hosted by Zeinab Badawi.

In the interview Badawi cited the land being occupied by Illovo Malawi, saying the land was taken away from more than 400 subsistence farmers at Chisita in Malawi’s central region and the villagers have been in different courts, nongovernmental organisations and the offices of the Ombudsman in a bid to reclaim 600 hectares of land.

She said farmers claim the company, in collusion with a senior chief, pushed them off their land and illegally converted it into part of its behemoth sugar cane plantation.

Reacting to the claims, Mutharika vehemently denied the claims and warned the BBC’s reporter to be very careful with some Non-governmental Organizations in the country.

“Some of these civil society organisations you have to be very careful with the way they analyse situations.

“No foreigner can acquire a land in Malawi except where they are going to industrialise for certain period of time,” Mutharika was quoted as saying.

To support her claims, Badawi extracted a quote in the Nyasatimes that quoted a farmer identified as Peter Kaunda explaining the challenges he is facing after losing his land.

“I lost three hectares which were my livelihood. They pushed us to the hills where the land is infertile. Now I am suffering,” said Kaunda.

Instead of reacting to the claim, Mutharika said the farmer in question does not exist.

“If he does exists this so called Peter Kaunda, maybe he does, if he does we will investigate. Its first time I am hearing this,” said Mutharika.

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