Minister of Lands and Natural Resources Jean Kapata says the proposal in the new draft National Land Policy is that no chief in Zambia will be allowed to give out land without having signatures from 50 per cent of their sub-chiefs.
And Kapata says once the land policy is in place, the only foreigners that will own land in the country are investors.
She was speaking in Parliament, Friday, during the questions for oral answer.
Asked by Bwana Mkubwa PF member of parliament Dr Jonas Chanda whether the Chiefs’ Indaba on the draft National Land Policy had officially submitted its recommendations to government; and when the Policy would be finalised, Kapata said the Chiefs’ Indaba officially submitted its recommendation to government on August 28, last year.
She said her ministry considered the comments and recommendations which were made by the Chiefs’ Indaba and that the response had since been submitted to the House of Chiefs.
And Kapata added that her ministry anticipated to finalise the National Land Policy in the third quarter of this year.
“The incorporation of the recommendation into the draft National Land Policy will only be done following further dialogue with the House of Chiefs. My ministry anticipates to finalise the National Land Policy in the third quarter of 2019. In order to achieve this, the ministry will reconstitute the technical committee which will finalise editing of the document and will provide the guidance on the decision points that will be agreed upon for inclusion into the revision of the draft National Land Policy,” she said.
Kapata said once the Land Policy was put in place, most of the land problems would be dealt it.
Asked by Kanchibiya PF member of parliament Martin Malama whether there were considerations in the draft National Land Policy to ensure that land was not sold rampantly to foreigners, Kapata said once the land policy was in place, the only foreigners that would own land in Zambia were investors.
“In the draft policy, yes there is a clause which restricts land to be owned by foreigners. The foreigners that are going to own land when the policy is in place are those that are coming in as investors. When we talk about investment, these are the people that we will see that their investment is viable and land will be given for 25 years. If the business that they are doing is viable, then it can renewed,” she said.
Choma Central UPND member of parliament Cornelius Mweetwa then asked, “Most of the land that these chiefs superintend in many areas of the country has already been alienated to private individuals. We now have chiefs on paper who have no land because they have sold it off. Are you not considering to reintroduce the promotion of farming blocks which will provide an organised way of making land available for those who want go into commercial farming, to access land which they can be able to use and own on title unlike going on customary land and get title dubiously?”
In response, Kapata said the proposal in the new draft policy was that no chief would be allowed to give out land without 50 percent signatures from sub-chiefs.
“First of all, the proposal in the new draft policy is that no chief will be allowed to give out land without 50 percent signatures of the sub-chiefs. Because in the past, it has been the chief that gives land without consultation with other sub-chiefs. Yes we have two types of title, we have the one that we give at the Ministry of Lands which is about 99 years tenure, also we are going to have one that is going to issued by traditional leaders which will also go on for 99 years,” she said.
Further asked by Mazabuka Central UPND member of parliament Garry Nkombo when her ministry would finally close the process of drafting the National Land Policy, Kapata said when her ministry meets the House of Chiefs this time around, it would be a final meeting.
“This time around when we meet the House of Chiefs, it will be a final meeting amongst ourselves and themselves because we have done enough consultation and whatever they have brought on board, we have actually taken most of them on board,” said Kapata.