Mkushi DC appeals for land irregularity settlements
Mkushi, May 6, ZANIS —— Mkushi District Commissioner Christopher Chibuye has strongly appealed to the Land Commission to help address issues of land acquisition irregularities in the district.
Mr Chibuye said that there was urgent need for intervention from the Lands Commission at the Ministry of Lands into land acquisition irregularities that were reportedly prevailing in Shaibila, Chikupili and Kaundula chiefdoms.
He said that District Administration was unhappy with a trend in which people based outside Mkushi and Lunao districts were acquiring titled land without the involvement of the district administration.
The District Commissioner said that there had been reports of Land investors allegedly threatening to evict local communities on the basis of having Titled ownership for the land, adding that the latest reports had come from Chalata, Kalubula and Kaundula Farm Blocks.
Mr Chibuye said that in many of these instances, Land investors had been aided by personnel who claimed to be from the Commission of Lands office.
He said that whilst Mkushi district administration respected genuine titled ownership of land investors, there was need to follow the stipulated government procedure in which district administration was a major stakeholder.
He said that the trend of by-passing district administration as well as the district council, was making it difficult for his office to arbitrate instances in which local residents were allegedly threatened with evictions.
Mr. Chibuye pointed out that in most of such cases, people who threatened locals with evictions claimed to have had ownership of Land for a long time despite not developing it.
He further observed that land acquisition irregularities were especially rampant in chiefdoms that had no sitting chief, adding that Shaibila and Chikupili chiefdoms could be cited as examples.
He said that according to land regulations in these two chiefdoms, only chiefs were authorized to give out customary land.
Mr Chibuye said that most of the land investors were purporting to be owners of customary land plots without endorsement from the Chief or district council.
He said that such a situation could trigger much anger from the affected communities as many had reportedly received threats of eviction from land investors in areas such as Chibwe-mkunga, Chalata, and Kalubula.
“These situations may boil over into heated unrest from the locals in future”, he noted.
In a related development, Chalata Ward Councillor James Nshimba (MMD) revealed that he had recently been approached by some unknown persons who claimed to have come from Lusaka.
Mr Nshimba said that the strangers had been accompanied by personnel that claimed to have come from the Commission of Lands, and had asked him to use his influence in evicting some locals from some land within the Ward.
Mr Nshimba said that he was irked by the request made by the strangers, saying that he had advised them to liaise with both the District Commissioner and the council.
He said that these situations were increasingly spreading in Chalata and other areas within Shaibila chiefdom.
He described the prevailing land acquisition trend as worrisome, charging that people were taking advantage of Shaibila chiefdom that has been without a sitting chief for nearly four years.