CHIEF Malama of the Kunda people in Mambwe says the government’s draft land policy is a non-starter and that it will never work.
In an interview, chief Malama said “state land will remain state land and customary land will as well remain customary land.
“Why do they want to grab our land? Government has its own land where it can work from if its something to do with land. Why are they touching on our land? This is a non-starter, this can’t work, no chief can accept this. They just want to infuriate us, what wrong have we done? When it comes to elections they seek our support, when we help them they leave us alone. So that land policy should be dropped forthwith,” chief Malama said.
He accused government of trying to create unnecessary confusion by coming up with the draft land policy.
“What government is trying to do is to create unnecessary confusions. It’s like the government wants to rise against traditional leaders.
The authority of traditional leaders came from God, so if they continue with this policy, it means they are going against God because we got this land from God and our authority comes from Him,” said chief Malama who added that traditional leaders had already given government enough land to operate from.
And chief Mnukwa of the Ngoni in Chipata said the traditional leaders have scanned the draft land policy and discovered that “some clever people have added some clauses that are not good”.
Chief Mnukwa, who recently featured on Radio Maria’s issue of the week programme, said the traditional leaders walked out of the validation
meeting with government because there was something wrong they saw.
“Some of our people that we have sent to school, its like they are over educated, very clever people; they use ulterior motives, they use other
phrases, other clauses. In between the lines they added some phrases. Now as chiefs, we are alive to that fact, our eyes are wide open, we are like microscopes. There is something we have seen. We don’t do it for the sake of being bad people,” he said.
Chief Mnukwa said if the land policy was implemented, corruption would increase in the administration of land.
“Now if they take away our powers and they start administering land, now we are shocked, what about the already existing corruption in the administration of state land? We are getting a lot of corruption issues in the administration of state land in the papers. If they get our land, where are our people going to breathe from? This policy is not good to us,” said chief Mnukwa.