The Zambia Land Alliance says there is so much chaos in the country’s land sector where unscrupulous dealers are duping unsuspecting people on bogus land deals, while the Ministry of Local Government and the Ministry of Lands remains inactive.
In a statement, Wednesday, ZLA executive director Patrick Musole stated that the Alliance was gravely concerned with a number of individuals and companies that claimed to have thousands of hectares of land for sale to the general public when in fact not, bemoaning that the two line Ministries remained inactive.
“ZLA is gravely concerned with number of individuals and companies that are claiming to have thousands of hectares of land for sale to the general public. ZLA is wondering where the Ministry of Local Government and the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources are when there is so much chaos in the land sector! It has become a new normal for individuals and companies to claim to own huge tracks of land for sell to members of the public,” Musole stated.
He explained that government was mandated by law to repossess any undeveloped land within the stipulated time and wondered why so much land was finding its way into private hands.
“The government ministries are mandated by law to alienate land and repossess any land that remains undeveloped within the stipulated time. If repossession of any land occurs, such land must be re-advertised and reallocated by the ministries, and not individuals or private companies. But we wonder how so much land is finding its way into private hands! There is an urgent need for the local authorities and the Ministry of Lands to take keen interest in these adverts for land and carry out investigations to ascertain the genuineness of the parcels of land being offered and how they were acquired. According to official government position, all the land in Lusaka is finished. So, where are these land dealers getting so much land from?” he wondered.
Musole called on the general public and land seekers to be wary of swindlers and ensure they confirm legitimacy of the land with the local council.
“ZLA is, therefore, calling upon the general public to beware of individuals and companies offering land, no matter how attractive their offers are. We advise all people looking for land to try by all means to acquire it from the ministries mandated by law to alienate land. If they have to buy it from private sources, members of the public are advised to conduct due diligence at the Council or the Ministry of Lands to ensure that the land in question actually does exist, and that the documents associated with it are genuine. Many people have been conned and have lost their hard-earned income in this difficult economy. In as much as we appreciate the fact that there is a high demand for land, land seekers are advised to be very careful to avoid being swindled,” stated Musole.