Friday, November 09, 2007

LETTERS - Land Disputes, PF

Communities, investors and litigation
By Concerned person
Friday November 09, 2007 [03:00]

I am writing to highlight a sad growing trend in “land disputes” in Zambia as evidenced in a November 7 Post article concerning local residents being sweet-talked into leaving their land by many different parties, including a fellow resident.

The main issues here are two-fold: One, the residents lack the understanding of their rights to land.

Second, the lack of clear legal and policy guidelines for investors when dealing with local communities when it comes to development (meaning providing fair and equitable compensation for the local residents when the development is to take place on the land they inhabit).

For many of the residents, the expansion of the mine and subsequent resettlement took them away from their area of livelihood. How can one put a fair price on that?

Another interesting aspect to this case is that residents initially refused to move, yet those in power did not address their concerns or broker a settlement.

Development, especially when it comes to natural resources, is not a bad thing as long as the benefits of that resource are filtered back into the community.

This entire episode could have been avoided if appropriate and equitable negotiations had taken place between the company and residents at the beginning of the planned expansion.

Fair rules and clear regulations between communities and investors on development projects need to be identified and enforced to protect the interests of the local residents.

If the current land laws and administration environment are not altered for equal benefit between both groups, then issues like the Munali mining operation in Mazabuka may become the norm in the future.

Who says PF must win?
By MM Lusaka
Friday November 09, 2007 [03:00]

Raphael Mukuka’s letter headlined ‘HH’s politics’ requires some response. According to the letter, Mukuka believes it is a waste of time and money for UPND to stand in Nchanga as it will only divide the votes in favour of the ruling party.

Who says PF has to win the Nchanga election? In certain cases, it is better for the ruling party to win over a party that has no focus.

Besides, by-elections should be used by opposition parties to test their popularity.

This is the only way they can make effective strategies to win next time.
In any case, PF and UPND have different ideologies and it is wrong to partner for the sake of unseating the ruling party.



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