Chief Kaindu of the Kaonde speaking people in Mumbwa District of Central province, and the Kaindu Natural Resources Trust have threatened to take legal action against Lands Minister Jean Kapata and the Times of Zambia for accusing the traditional leader of illegally selling land in his chiefdom.

In a statement issued to News Diggers! by chairperson for the Kaindu Royal Establishment Robert Chikumbi Shibuyunji, the dual also demanded for a written apology from both the Minister and the newspaper.

The traditional leader said he was disappointed and greatly aggrieved by a press statement published in the Sunday Times dated 21st May, 2017 with the headline “His Royal Greediness”, as well as the condemnation by the Minister and the Zambia Land Alliance.

“HIS Royal Highness Chief Kaindu and Kaindu Natural Resources Trust (KNRT) are greatly aggrieved by a press report and statement published in Sunday Times of 21st May 2017 entitled “His Royal Greediness” and the condemning of His Royal Highness by Honorable Minister of Lands Honorable Jean Kapata and the Zambia Land Alliance Executive Director Eugen Kabilika via Times of Zambia dated 22nd May 2017,” the statement read in part.

“His Royal Highness Chief Kaindu and KNRT demand for an apology from both the Times of Zambia and the Minister of Lands, failure to which, legal action will be taken. The dual further demands that in the manner that the statement was published, so should the apology be published.”

Chief Kaindu said he felt insulted by Kapata, Kabilika, and the Times of Zambia newspaper for accusing him of illegally selling land in his chiefdom.

“It is extremely disappointing and unacceptable that an important media house like the Times of Zambia and Highly esteemed national leader like Minister of Lands and an Executive Director of an equally important civil society organization like the Zambia Land Alliance (ZLA) would speak to the national and the press without first triangulating heights and depths of fact of matters presented before them,” he stated.

“KNRT and his Royal Highness Chief Kaindu consider the front page stories of Sunday 21st May 2017, and Monday 22nd May 2017 to be insults. The statement by the Minister of Lands and the Executive Director at ZLA are also a clear indication that respect for the Royal Highnesses and traditional leaders by those holding higher offices in Zambia is slowly degenerating. It is inconceivable that Times of Zambia and Honorable Minister in a sensitive Ministry like the Ministry of lands would respectively write and speak carelessly.”

He further challenged Kapata and the Times of Zambia to state which piece of land or property to the extent of 20,000 hectors which he illegally sold.

“Natural Resources Trust in Chief Kaindu’s chiefdom is a community-owned Trust formed by His Royal Highness Chief Kaindu and his subjects in the year 2004. This Trust was established under the land perpetual and succession Act as an entity with a mission to secure land on behalf of the people of Kaindu and establish a Community Game Ranch as a community based enterprise. To date, His Royal Highness and the KNRT runs the first ever community game ranch in Zambia on a 13,000 hectors piece of land already on a 99-year lease offered by the Ministry of Lands. His Royal Highness Chief Kaindu is and continues to be the patron of KNRT,” read the statement.

“We are therefore wondering how his Royal Highness Chief Kaindu would sale the whole of his chiefdom to KNRT, which is a community based organization he has formulated for the advancement of his chiefdom.”