MP warns against in­dis­crim­i­nate sale of land

Daily Nation Newspaper - - HOME NEWS - By KELVIN SIABANA

A PAR­LIA­MEN­TAR­IAN has urged Gov­ern­ment not to al­low un­pa­tri­otic cit­i­zens to mort­gage the fu­ture of Zam­bia by care­lessly sell­ing huge por­tions of land to for­eign­ers at the ex­pense of the poor.

Bwana Mkubwa Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment Jonas Chanda said al­low­ing peo­ple to sell huge tracks of land to for­eign­ers re­sulted in Zam­bians be­ing forcibly re­moved from the land like refugees in their own coun­try.

Dr Chanda said Gov­ern­ment should re­strict the sale of land to for­eign­ers ex­cept in cases where they were gen­uine in­vestors who would cre­ate de­cent jobs for the peo­ple. “This was why Gov­ern­ment should ex­pe­dite the pre- sent­ing of the re­vised Land Act and pol­icy to Cab­i­net and Par­lia­ment to ad­dress this sad sit­u­a­tion.

"In line with the Pres­i­dent's ear­lier di­rec­tives when he ad­dressed Par­lia­ment, I urge the gov­ern­ment to ur­gently bring the re­vised Land Act and Pol­icy to Cab­i­net and Par­lia­ment, be­cause this re­vised Land Act and Pol­icy should em­power Zam­bians more in land own­er­ship and re­strict the sale of land to for­eign­ers ex­cept where these are proven gen­uine for­eign in­vestors who cre­ate good jobs for Zam­bians," Dr Chanda said.

He said he fully sup­ports Pres­i­dent Edgar Lungu's re­cent direc­tive in Par­lia­ment that no Zam­bian would be dis­placed from their land with noth­ing.

Dr Chanda said the gov­ern­ment ex­pected in­vestors to fully com­pen­sate indige­nous Zam­bians if and when they are evicted from their land.

He said Pres­i­dent Lungu had clearly stated that in­vestors had an obli­ga­tion to abide by the na­tional land pol­icy which re­quires that set­tlers dis­placed from the land for busi­ness ac­tiv­i­ties are ad­e­quately com­pen­sated.

Dr Chanda said even the gov­ern­ment it­self en­sures that dis­placed peo­ple were ad­e­quately com­pen­sated, in some cases with not only land but new ac­com­mo­da­tion as well.

Dr Chanda said for­eign buy­ers of land work­ing with some un­pa­tri­otic Zam­bians ig­nored the rule of law as ev­i­denced in the case of Bwana Mkubwa con­stituency where for­eign in­di­vid­u­als and named firms were dis­plac­ing hun­dreds of Zam­bians from land they had farmed for many years with­out any com­pen­sa­tion or given any al­ter­na­tive land.

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