Thursday, December 06, 2012

(STICKY) Nalubamba endorses calls to empower locals with land

COMMENT - I guess when it comes down to it, everyone is in favour of land reform. Let's hope they didn't talk about Zimbabwe with a sneer when it was their time of need and they sacrificed when they were getting their land back. Land reform in Zambia, who would have though it. It isn't just Zimbabwe, South Africa, Namibia, Kenya and Botswana.

Nalubamba endorses calls to empower locals with land
By Ernest Chanda
Thu 06 Dec. 2012, 09:20 CAT

SENIOR Chief Bright Nalubamba says the government should empower indigenous Zambians with land. Last week, several members of parliament requested lands minister Wylbur Simuusa to make sure indigenous Zambians are empowered with land.

And commenting on the matter, chief Nalubamba of the Ila people in Namwala district of Southern Province, said the calls were in the interest of Zambians.

"This is a progressive call for the benefit of the Zambian people; that is a welcome move. They must repossess because land is wealth for the people," he said yesterday.

When informed that some members of parliament had also asked government to protect traditional leaders who were being enticed by some foreign investors to sell huge chunks of traditional land, Nalubamba said: "If that has been done against the wishes of the people, the communities at rural level, that land must definitely be returned to the people at community level. I know that as traditional leaders, we are not only restricted to sell land to our people at community level, but they must be given priority because they are our people."

Debating the 2013 estimates of expenditure for the Ministry of Lands on Thursday, all the lawmakers passionately requested Simuusa to repossess idle land after carrying out an audit and give it to indigenous Zambians.

Mazabuka UPND member of parliament Garry Nkombo asked Simuusa to dismantle what he termed the 'colonial land tenure system'.

"Her Majesty the Queen of England gratified some people with land post World War II and these are the same people who own a lot of land in Zambia. There are so many foreigners owning land in this country while indigenous Zambians have nothing," said Nkombo.

"I therefore urge the government to provide this ministry with more money as they regularise what is irregular. The colonial land tenure we inherited must now start dismantling. Any land that has not been used in the last 100 years must be audited and given to Zambians for use."

Mpongwe MMD member of parliament Gabriel Namulambe called for serious land reforms.


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