Govt warns over land issues

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Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Minister Wilbur Simusa has warned local councils in the country to stop the indiscriminate allocation of land.

Mr. Simusa said the Patriotic Front (PF) government wants to ensure that land in the country is equitably allocated to Zambians.

He said for a long time many Zambians where denied of their land due to corruption that surrounded the allocation of land in the manner previous governments handled the matter.


Speaking when he featured on Kariba FM "head on talk" evening show in Siavonga Mr. Simusa noted with sadness the high levels of corruption in councils which has since seen rich people acquiring huge chunks of land on the expense of the poor majority.


Mr. Simusa said the Patriotic Front (PF) government is looking at ways through which local people can have access to the water bodies’ ion Kariba dam and other water bodies which have since been closed to the public by private investors who have set up businesses along the water banks.


He said government wants to clean the system by harmonizing the situation and ensure that both the local people and investors become equal beneficiaries of the natural resource endorsed in the district.


The Minister however noted with disbelief the manner and reasoning through which land such as that of the water bodies was given without consideration of the local majority.


Mr. Simusa stated that it is not easy for government to control access to the water bodies adding that most of the land near the water bodies in the country has already being sold but was quick to point out that there is need for government together with investors and local people to sit down and find a solution that will help give access to the local people.


He observed that many are times the local council has sold land without permission from the ministry of land thereby raising land wrangles in the country as in most cases plots are sold to more than one person.


He said it is unfortunate that about 50 years after attaining independence Zambians could still fight and kill each other over land acquisition.


He said the PF government will not hesitate to deal with any person found wanting to defraud government or any individual using land.


He said water is important in all aspects of human life and development adding that restriction to the water bodies is tantamount to retrogression on development.

Meanwhile, the Minister has also sternly warned traditional leaders in the country to stop selling land to investors who in the end offer on help to the local people.


Mr. Simusa pointed out that land is a very prestigious resource in which and indigenous resident should pride themselves in.

He observed that cases of chiefs selling land to foreign investors have increased a situation that has disadvantaged indigenous people and deprived them of wealth.

Mr. Simusa said government further wants to make available the 1958 map for chiefdom boundaries to help resolve land wrangles in many parts of the country.

He has since called o0n chiefs in the country to look out for the map and read extensively in order to help government reprint the copy.

He added that government does not want to interfere in chiefdom boundaries but want chiefs themselves to help redraw the map and put an end to land wrangles.

He observed that land wrangles have been retrogressive to social and economic development in many parts of the country.