Lands Minster Jean Kapata says government will consider reducing land lease years for foreign investors from 25 to 15 following public outcry.

And Kapata says some chiefdoms should not be referred to as such because the traditional leaders in those areas have sold off all their land to foreign investors.

Responding to a question from Kafue member of parliament Mirriam Chonya, who wanted to know the contents of the draft land policy on selling land to foreign investors, Kapata said government was considering reduce lease years for foreigners.

“One of the issues that the chiefs refer to was on the vestment of land in the Republican President which they think should be stuck out. And I don’t think it’s in the right direction we would be moving in the right direction. So, we’ll wait again to hear what their conclusion is through their indaba. And then we will come back to the House and inform the House that this is the way to go. The policy will control the sale of land to foreigners and even the issuing of land to foreigners through the tenure of lease where a foreigner that is an investor will only be given 25 years which will be renewable. Again, we have received complaints from Zambians saying that 25 years is too much. We are a listening government, yes, we are a listening government under President Edgar Lungu and they are proposing that we reduce the 25 to 15 and because we are a listening government, my President is a listening President, we will consider 15 years for foreigners which is going to be renewable after, if we see that the type of investment that they have brought in is viable,” Kapata said

And Kapata said some chiefdoms should not be referred to as such because the traditional leaders in those areas have sold off all their land to foreign investors.

“Yes, it’s true that some chiefs, I want to be quoted as saying some chiefs have sold most of pieces of land and some of them actually there is no chiefdom to talk about because all the land has been taken or is sold by the said chief. So, in the new draft policy, we are saying there will be no chief who will be allowed to give land without 50 percent consent from the indunas or the sub chiefs in that chiefdom. And this is where the bone of contention is. And this is where the chiefs do not want us to include the sub-chiefs in the issuance of land,” she revealed.

Earlier in a ministerial statement, Kapata said chiefs had not yet communicated the resolutions of their national indaba on the land policy to the ministry.

“This ministry remains committed to the process. I held a meeting with the Chairperson of the House of Chiefs on the 10 of April 2018 to discuss and agree on a roadmap following the nation validation meeting which the chiefs rejected. The meeting was cordial and fruitful. It was concluded that during that main sitting of the House of Chiefs, additional days would be allocated and dedicated to reviewing the document page by page, so that the chiefs could provide their specific concerns and recommendations to the technocrats. My ministry, through the permanent secretary, initiated and maintained contact with the clerk of the House of Chiefs to plan for the activity, the chiefs later took a further step to organize provincial consultative meetings where they met among themselves to discuss the draft document. Following their provincial consultations, the chiefs proceeded to convene a national indaba which was held on the 28th and 29th May 2018 at COMESA headquarters in Lusaka. My ministry was invited to the indaba and participated as observers. My ministry is not in receipt of the final communications of the indaba. It is for this reason that the ministry would like to urge the House of Chiefs to communicate the deliberations that came out from the indaba so that next steps can be implemented,” said Kapata.