JUSTICE Minister Given Lubinda says the Patriotic Front has decided to reduce the age for youths to own land from 21 to 18 years.

Speaking during a PF Interactive Forum, Thursday, Lubinda said the recently launched PF manifesto was not only empowering, but also youth focused.

“We also say why is it that you have to wait until you are 40 for you to get land? We have decided that starting now, the age for youths to acquire land shall be reduced from 21 years to 18 years. Let the youths own land. We can’t continue giving lip service, we will not empower youths until we give them access to the primary factor of production which is land. We know of the challenges of collecting titles, it takes a hell lot of time. We have decided that your government should create a paperless registration system for land transactions and a digital record keeping for all land,” Lubinda said.

“This manifesto aims to empower, this is an empowering manifesto. Look at any manifesto in the world and see if you will find a manifesto that refers to empowerment as often as this manifesto. This manifesto refers to citizens empowerment 23 times. This is a youth focused manifesto. Because this party having been in government for the last 10 years, we have come to understand that the greatest demographic dividend of Zambia are the youths. We will not be able to deliver development in this country if we leave the youths behind, we ought to carry them. As a matter of fact, this manifesto suggests that the youths must be in the forefront of all our endeavors.”

He said 50 percent of all available land would be reserved for women.

“In this document, we mention women empowerment 32 times. This is going to be a very exciting five years, extremely exciting for the PF and the people of Zambia. We have decided here that going forward, we shall reserve 50 percent of all available land for women. While allowing competition between men and women for the remaining 50 percent. What we have decided now is that women get 50 percent no competition, they compete amongst themselves. The remaining 50 percent boys and girls compete. You cannot call yourself a citizen of Zambia and don’t own property. How? Because we attach great importance to Zambians owning their country, we are saying 80 percent of public and private land should be titled by the year 2026,” he said.

Meanwhile, Lubinda said the party offered the Zambian people an authentic vision.

“What we are giving to the Zambian people is a believable, authentic vision, one that has a background, one that is supported by empirical evidence. For us, it is not wishful thinking. I can assure that there were some lofty ideas that we had, but we had to check them ‘what is it we have done in the last 10 years we have been in government? Based on this capacity that we have, that we have tested in the last 10 years, is this idea implementable in the next five years’? We said ‘no this is too lofty, we can’t achieve it because of our experience’ when I say we are very committed to listening to the people of Zambia,” said Lubinda.

“We commit ourselves to political pluralism. What we say here is vision based on capacity analysis. We commit ourselves to political pluralism. So for us for the next five years, we will not be bothered about what kind of Chitenge you are wearing for as long as you are a Zambian. We will listen to you whether you come directly or you come through your political organization. Ever since our party was formed, we have built a structure that is grassroots based.”