The agricultural investment going on in Neno is a good development for the country whose economy is agro-based and which seeks to bolster its fortunes through increased agriculture spending to expand and enrich its export base.
Of concern though is the idea that people whose land will be affected with the investment are in the dark about the terms and conditions of how their land will be taken away.
Land is sacred. It is a source of livelihood and taking it away from them is like taking away the basis for economic growth. Which is why, historically, land grabs have been contentious.
It is essential that the district council authorities and the traditional leaders should have taken a deliberate step to involve the people in this investment from the word go.
Now because the people do not have much information about what is going on, there are all sorts of fears and misunderstandings for what should have been a good investment.
Some of the pieces of land earmarked for the investment have been lying fallow for a long time and it makes sense that it must be used optimally.
But all this is happening in their territory in which they have spent the rest of their lives so far and they deserve at least clear information on how those that lose their land will be handled.
The council says it will make assessment before people can be paid for the lost land. But works have begun in some fields and some people complain they have been affected without being told what is going on.
One wonders what should have happened first between assessing the land and ground breaking for the massive investment.
If this deal had furnished the people with all they needed to know, they would not have any reason to be suspicious and speculative.
This is a call then to the district council and all the involved players to tread carefully on this deal so they don't step on people's toes.
Everyone needs development in their area, whatever the form, but no one wants a development that infringes on the rights and freedoms of people and treats them as peripheral to what rightly belongs to them.
Putting people in such darkness breeds contempt and chaos.