Min­istry of Lands clears air

Daily Nation Newspaper - - FRONT PAGE - By NA­TION RE­PORTER

THE min­istry of Lands has dis­pelled and dif­fused re­ports sug­gest­ing that it was dis­plac­ing set­tlers across Zam­bia to fa­cil­i­tate the al­lo­ca­tion of huge chunks of land for in­vest­ment. Min­is­ter of Lands Jean Ka­p­ata said she had re­ceived an avalanche of re­ports to that ef­fect but said she did not sup­port the dis­place­ment of peo­ple with­out fol­low­ing pro­ce­dure and com­pen­sa­tion to those ma­te­ri­ally af­fected. Speak­ing in at a press brief­ing in Lusaka yes­ter­day, Ms. Ka­p­ata said some of the key chal­lenges that con­trib­uted to en­croach­ment in­cluded, lack of proper in­for­ma­tion on land ac­qui­si­tion pro­cesses, lack of doc­u­men­ta­tion on land own­er­ship and in­ven­to­ries, land use con­flicts and land rights, and that all these led to vul­ner­a­bil­ity. “You may wish to know that be­fore a large tract of land is al­lo­cated to any ap­pli­cant(s) un­der the Min­istry of Land’s, the fol­low­ing are some of the key con­di­tions to be met such as the Na­tional Re­mote Sens­ing Cen­tre Re­port that takes an aerial view of land in ques­tion to de­ter­mine if there are set­tlers on the ground. “There is also the phys­i­cal in­spec­tion and so­cial-eco­nomic sur­vey re­port that de­ter­mines the ex­tent of set­tle­ments and eco­nomic ac­tiv­i­ties done by set­tlers as well as the Re­set­tle­ment Ac­tion Plan (RAP) to out­line the con­di­tions of re­set­tle­ment should there be any need to re­set­tle the set­tlers,” Ms. Ka­p­ata said. She said her min­istry scru­ti­nized all the pro­cesses and en­sured that the con­di­tions were met prior to al­lo­ca­tion ap­proval or dis­ap­proval of large tract of land. Ms Ka­p­ata how­ever said there were some cases where peo­ple de­lib­er­ately in­vaded or en­croached on the land but that when they got in­for­ma­tion that the same was be­ing ear­marked for re-plan­ning or al­lo­ca­tion to some project, it cre­ated con­flicts. “The gov­ern­ment would like to ap­peal to the tra­di­tional lead­er­ship to work in full con­sul­ta­tion with their com­mu­ni­ties in mat­ters of land al­lo­ca­tion for large scale in­vest­ments. My min­istry would also like to ap­peal to mem­bers of the pub­lic to re­frain from in­vad­ing/ squat­ting on other peo­ple’s land as do­ing so may lead to evic­tion with­out com­pen­sa­tion, “As a min­istry we are com­mit­ted to im­prov­ing ef­fi­ciency and ef­fec­tive­ness in land ad­min­is­tra­tion, at­tract­ing in­vest­ment, but at the same time pro­tect­ing our peo­ple so that they are not left be­hind in the de­vel­op­ment vi­sion that this Gov­ern­ment has for the coun­try,” she said. She said her min­istry had con­tin­ued to put mea­sures in place to en­sure that de­vel­op­ment was sus­tain­able, and that pro­ce­dures were ad­hered to.

-Pic­tures by THOMAS NSAMA

First Lady Es­ther Lungu be­ing wel­comed by Zam­bians upon ar­rival in Sene­gal for the fifth edi­tion of Merck Africa Lu­mi­nary which was held at the Cen­tre In­ter­na­tional De Con­fer­ence Ab­dou Diouf in Dakar, Sene­gal

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