Lands and Natural resources Minister Jean Kapata says government has elevated the 30 per cent land ownership threshold for women to 40 per cent in the new land policy.

But Kapata cautioned that the allocated percentage threshold was not going to be for free as there would some fees attached to its acquisition.

“First of all, one of the policies that we are putting in place in terms of land ownership for women is that, first it was 30 per cent. And then women are allowed to compete with the male counterparts in the remaining 70 [per cent]. Previously, when we had the International Women’s Day, the President elevated that to 40 per cent. So, the policy now is that when we advertise land everywhere in the country, 40 per cent of those pieces of land should go to women. And that is policy,” Kapata told News Diggers in an interview.

But the minister, however, regretted that some women, despite allocating the 40 per cent ownership to them, could still fail to pay the mandatory fees.

“Yes, there is a rise in the number of women owning land. But except I will be quick to mention that this land, even when we say 40 per cent should go to women, it is not free land. There are fees attached to it. Because women then, when you give them land they come back again and say, ‘no, me I don’t have money to pay for this land’ [but] there is no free land anywhere in the world. Somebody should pay because a surveyor has to go on the ground and survey the land. So they (surveyors) will not survey it for free just because it is a woman buying, no, they have to pay the fees that are required,” advised Kapata.