UPPZ president explains his controversial land ownership

United Prosperous and Peaceful Zambia (UPPZ) president Charles Chanda says he has more land than the Lusaka City Council (LCC), part of which he is willing to give the local authority if approached.

And Chanda has explained that he has been smart enough not to have been registering the land he buys in his own name because he has a number of political enemies who want to tarnish his reputation.

Speaking when he featured on Hot FM’s Hot seat programme, Thursday, Chanda said he decided to start empowering Zambians with land, which he didn’t want to be a preserve for only rich people.

“Anybody who got land from me, not one of them voted for me. They voted for either HH or Edgar Lungu, but I am the one meeting those promises that some of them never met. So, what is supposed to happen is that my land policy right now is supposed to get the blessings of government because I am carrying out a programme that the Minister of Housing is supposed to do. In fact, if there is a Minister of Housing, he should have called me and said, ‘Mr Chanda, we know that Lusaka has got no land, but here you are, you’ve got land.’ I was going to show the Minister [Ronald Chitotela] how to get land. Even the Mayor [Miles Sampa] here, if the Mayor is serious, he must contact me, I am even in the position to help the Mayor with land because it is not a secret, I have more land than Lusaka City Council (LCC); this is not even something you can debate. So, if the Mayor came and approached me: ‘Mr Chanda can you help us?’ I can even give the Mayor the land for a grave site. I am in the business of land and I will ensure that I make Zambia great,” Chanda said.

Asked if the land he was selling was really genuine, Chanda said all the land he acquired had all the paperwork required for the ownership of land.

“Land is not like Coca Cola, land is verifiable. That is why you can see that we have so many illiterate Zambians who don’t understand anything about land. I bought land from a Chinese [national] at $1.6 million; that land was on tittle and we had to subdivide it. Ministry of Land approved, I have the survey diagrammes for that land. So, when people are talking, I know who is talking, I know who is affected by my land policy and those enemies of mine are using every method… I know I have got political enemies because I am involved in the political life, but remember, it is not UPPZ selling the land. I have a registered company that is selling the land. So, we buy land and then we sub divide it, the only challenge here is that I am the co-director of that farm, and I run UPPZ, so I have to find a way of influencing the prices so that we don’t allow a situation where land becomes expensive and only a preserve of the few,” Chanda said.

“So, this is where people are confused, but it is nice to confuse your enemies and I have successfully confused the enemies. When I buy land, I don’t change it to Mr Chanda’s name because I have a flag on my name. Ministry of Lands will not approve anything because they’ve been given instructions by the powers that be ‘the moment you see anything written Chanda, don’t approve it’ so I am ahead of the game, when I buy land from Mr Phiri, I tell him to sub divide the land in his name and once it is finished I get it, that is why people say I don’t have land. And if you go to the Ministry of Lands today, you will never find my name in the system, but I have land. I know what I am doing, you have to be clever in this game. Even the President [Edgar Lungu] doesn’t know how much land I have. I am just coming from the Copperbelt Province now, and I am going back their tomorrow; I have 2,000 plots and I am going to give the people of the Copperbelt those plots from tomorrow. I have land in almost every city in Zambia and nobody is going to know how much land I have because I am ahead of the game.”

         

Mirriam Chabala

About Mirriam Chabala

Mirriam Chabala is a Zambian journalist who covers current affairs and writes in-depth feature articles on social issues.
Email: mirriam [at] diggers [dot] news

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