Kafue residents rise as govt turns ‘3 million’ hectares of land to commercial

The Lusaka Province Planning Authority has mounted a bill board in Kafue district advertising change of land use from agriculture to commercial, leaving villagers in the area up in arms for fear of displacement.

Mutentami village head woman Mulengu, has expressed anger that more than three million hectares of land has been given to foreigners.

And Kafue District Council chairman Thomas Zulu says investigations have been instituted to ascertain how the land was acquired.

Meanwhile, Kafue UPND member of parliament Miriam Chonya has urged government to quickly conclude the national land policy in order to resolve the contentious land issues in the country.

Speaking in separate interviews, Mulengu wondered how the developer had managed to acquire the customary land and converted it to State land without involving traditional leaders in the area.

She further said that from time in memorial, the villagers had no idea that their land was on title until the billboard was mounted two weeks ago.

Mulengu expressed anger that more than three million hectares of land had been given to foreigners.

“What has made us angry is the huge amount of hectares indicated on the bill board. More than three million hectares [has been] given to foreigners,” she lamented.

And Kafue District Council chairman Thomas Zulu said the council had instituted investigations in the matter to ascertain how the land was acquired.

Zulu revealed that Busoli Royal Establishment had also taken keen interest in how government had approved the indicated hectares of land under contention.

“As I talk to you right now we have dispatched two teams of officers to find out more about this issue. One team is at Ministry of Lands and the one is at the Surveyor General’s office trying to get the map for the land in question and tomorrow we will, in the company of Her Royal Highness Senior Chieftainess Nkomenshya Mukamambo II, go to Kapongo to resolve the issue,” said Zulu.

Meanwhile, Chonya urged government to quickly conclude the national land policy which would help resolve land issues in the country.

“It is unfortunate that government is taking long to conclude the national land policy because it would have given guidance on how land is supposed to be acquired and alienated. Because more and more of our local people are becoming vulnerable in the absence of that policy. It is not good that our people should be displaced by people who are coming from elsewhere, from the land that they have occupied since time immemorial. I would like to urge government to quickly look into that because it will help to resolve not only this current issue, but generally the land issues in the country,” said Chonya.

         

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