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Zambia has witnessed chaos, impunity in land administration – ZLA

THE Zambia Land Alliance (ZLA) says it would like to see legal reforms and systems that will provide sustainable solutions to the challenges and illegalities currently in the land sector.

Executive director Patrick Musole has congratulated Elijah Muchima and Gary Nkombo on their well-deserved appointments as Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, and Minister of Local Government, respectively.

Musole said while the Alliance congratulates the rest of the Cabinet ministers as well, the duo was of special interest to ZLA due to its role in land administration in the country.

“Over the years the two ministries have been plagued with untold irregularities and illegalities in land alienation. Councils have been suspended and reinstated over and over but illegalities have continued. ZLA is in receipt of numerous reports of land on title which has been illegally subdivided and issued with new titles by Ministry of Lands,” he said. “Protected forest reserves have been degazetted and had their land use changed without following the due process of the law. In short, Zambia has witnessed chaos, illegality, and impunity in land administration.”

He said in view of the scenario, ZLA and other Civil Society Organisations, and the Zambian people at large, had very high expectations of the new ministers.

“We would like to see legal reforms and systems that will provide sustainable solutions to the challenges and illegalities currently in the land sector. We would like the ministers to deal with the corruption within the two ministries which is at the root of the many illegalities in land administration,” he said in a statement yesterday. “We further expect to see enhanced capacity for monitoring land developments to ensure that illegalities are prevented or stopped before it is too late.”

Musole pledged to continue to work with the government to ensure secure access and ownership of land for all Zambians, especially the poor and marginalised communities.

“We will continue to engage government and participate in the amendment of various pieces of land-related legislation so that they can speak to the National Land Policy,” said Musole. “Beyond having good laws and policies on paper, we will continue to lobby government and other stakeholders until they translate into secured land rights for all Zambians, including the youth, persons with disabilities, and 50 per cent allocation of all land to women.”

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