OPPOSITION MPs have lauded Government for banning customary land allocations

Harry Kalaba ( R)

OPPOSITION Members of Parliament have lauded Government for its decision to ban customary land allocation and described the move as long overdue.

This was after Lands, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Harry Kalaba, in a ministerial policy statement in Parliament yesterday, said that Government had immediately banned illegal allocation of customary land.

Mr Kalaba said Government would introduce security tenure for land in customary areas and also finalise the land policy for proper land management in the country.

He said Government would also operationalise the Land Audit Commission and introduce measures to protect vulnerable groups of society to ensure that no land in excess of 250 hectares was sold in any chiefdom.

Debating the ministerial statement, opposition parliamentarians said the Government’s decision was in the best interest of the Zambian people who had continued to lose land in the name of investment.

MMD Kasenengwa MP Victoria Kalima described the move as excellent and commended the Lands minister for the bold step.

She, however, wondered what Government would do concerning the land that had been taken over by cadres.

But Mr Kalaba said the land alienation programme would touch on everyone regardless of which party they belonged.

Rufunsa MMD MP Kenneth Chipungu commended Government for the decision, saying it would give comfort to the people of Rufunsa some of whom had lost 50,000 hectares of land to an investor.

Lubansenshi Independent MP Patrick Mucheleka urged Government to expedite the process and ensure that Zambians did not lose out.

Monze UPND MP Jack Mwiimbu asked Government what it would do to chiefs who illegally allocated land.