Newly-appointed Lands Minster Elijah Muchima says the illegal transactions by officers and some cartel in his ministry will come to an end.
And Infrastructure and Development Minister Charles Milupi says his appointment has demonstrated that President Hakainde Hichilema appreciates the alliance partners.
In an interview, Muchima said despite the Ministry of Lands being a key component to the development of the country, it had not been well managed previously.
“The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources is a very key component to the development of the country. Unfortunately, it has not been managed well before. Land allocation has not been fair, caderism also invaded the ministry. Illegal land allocation has come in and also people have lost their land because people have become very sophisticated, they have created title deeds, they have transacted on land which does not belong to them. People have been denied a chance to own property. We cannot run away from the fact that we need investor confidence but we need not to alienate our own people. The Zambians are the owners of the land, they need to benefit out of it. But the manner in which we have been managing it is what is critical and what should be looked at. This system of people buying the same land sold to four people should stop,” Muchima said.
“These illegal transactions by officers and some cartel should come to an end. We cannot continue at the pace we have been going. There are wrangles everywhere concerning land but let us manage it well. If land is in short supply, it is better we admit but we should not give room to criminality. We need to take the interests of a common person. Just as the President said, we should not serve our interests, let us serve the interest of our masters, the common people.”
And Muchima said cases of corruption in the ministry needed to be probed.
“We need transparent use of land and natural resources. We need to probe these cases of corruption. We need agencies such as the Anti-Corruption Commission and the Drug Enforcement to act so that we can stop this scourge. We need to protect the common person, we need to protect them from the hooliganism of cadres. We need people to be served in a manner that is appreciated not the way things are going, when you don’t have money, you don’t have any chance of justice. We need justice to prevail in the ministry,” said Muchima.
Meanwhile, Milupi said his appointment had demonstrated that President Hichilema appreciated the alliance partners.
He added that he would be able to perform in his ministry because he was an engineer by profession.
“Nothing will leave the ministry that will raise questions. What the President has demonstrated is an appreciation of what the alliance did during this campaign, but for some of us even way back before the campaigns because we have been in the trenches together. We have to play our part. He has said that the first qualification is that you are Zambian, I am a Zambian. The next qualification is that you are able to perform and I am an engineer by profession,” said Milupi.
“There is nothing that happens in the construction, in the infrastructure industry that I am not familiar with. Earlier on we were talking about the flooding of Kanyama and other areas, that is an engineering problem. It is a challenge but we think we can rise to that challenge to ensure that we put the townships right. The constraint will be resources but I know that the President and other ministries are working on improving our resource base so we can do these things for our mother country.”