This Act makes provision with respect to customary land in Malawi and in particular the administration of customary land and the adjudication of an interest in customary land. It consists of 54 sections divided into 8 Parts: Preliminary (I); Administration and Management of Customary Land (II); Transfers (III); Declaration of Hazardous Land (IV); Grant and Management of Customary Estates (V); Adjudication of Interest in Customary Land (VI); Dispute Settlement (VII); Miscellaneous (VIII).Customary land shall consist of— (a) land within the boundaries of a Traditional Land Management Area other than Government or reserved land; (b) land designated as customary land under the Land Act, 2016; (c) land, the boundaries of which have been demarcated as customary land under any written law or administrative procedure in force at any time before this Act came into operation whether that demarcation has been formally approved or published in the gazette; and (d) land, the boundaries of which have been agreed upon by a land committee claiming jurisdiction over that land. The Commissioner shall issue a certificate of customary land in the name of a Traditional Authority, in the prescribed form, for every Traditional Land Management Area. The Act provides for administration of customary land in a Traditional Land Management Areas and the division of such areas.Part III concerns transfer of any customary land in a Traditional Land Management Area to Government or reservation of land for public interest. Part IV empowers the Minister to declare any customary land in a land Traditional Land Management Area to be hazardous land, i.e. land the development of which is likely to pose danger to life or to lead to the degradation of, or environmental destruction on, that or contiguous land. Hazardous land may be compulsorily acquired by the Minister for protection purposes.A customary estate shall be allocated by a land committee to citizens of Malawi or juridical persons, but the majority of its members or shareholders must be citizens of Malawi. A customary estate shall be - (a) of indefinite duration; (b) inheritable, and transmissible by will; (c) subject to any conditions set out in this Act. The Act sets out the procedure of grant of customary estate and provides with respect to surrender or abandonment of estates. Any person who is aggrieved by a determination of a land committee may, within thirty days of the publication of the adjudication record and demarcation map, appeal to a customary land tribunal established for each Traditional Land Management Area under this Act. A person who is aggrieved by a decision of a customary land tribunal may appeal to a district land tribunal established under this Act. An appeal from a district land tribunal shall lie to the Central Land Board established under this Act.
Repeals: Customary Land (Development) Act (59:01). (1988)
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