Monday, August 05, 2013

Govt to sensitise public on land acquisition
By Steve Mwiinga and Snike Mzulah in Siavonga
Sat 20 July 2013, 14:00 CAT

LANDS minister Wylbur Simuusa says the ministry will soon embark on sensitisation programmes on the procedures of acquiring land with the help of councils across the country.

And Simuusa has reaffirmed the government's commitment towards escalating cross-border relations.

Speaking when he met heads of government departments at the district commissioner's office in Siavonga, Simmusa said this was so because the levels of ignorance on the process to follow when acquiring land by most people in the country were worrying.

He attributed this to lack of adherence to laid down procedures when acquiring land by the majority Zambians.

"Those people who fight each other because they don't want to follow the procedures when acquiring land, as government and the ministry, we are saying we will go in there and see who is wrong and deal with that person. However we are immediately going to work with the council to help educate the people on how to acquire land," he said.

Simuusa also appealed to Zambians to take part in putting to an end the corrupt practices in land acquisition.

He also bemoaned the high levels of deforestation in the country saying Zambia had the highest deforestation rate in the world.

"I am already seeing a desert like here in Siavonga', and Southern Province is drying upon because of deforestation and trees which are being cut to increase agriculture. However, I am working with the agriculture minister to restore the environment because agriculture is one of the drivers of deforestation," he said.

He stated that charcoal burning was also another driver of deforestation in the country specially in places like Siavonga.

"As government' we don't recognise charcoal burning because we don't get any ngwee. Instead, it just increases deforestation but very soon we will have a charcoal indaba where we will discuss issues pertaining to charcoal burning'' he said.

And speaking when he officially opened the midterm review workshop for Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania International Boundaries in Siavonga at Lake Safari Lodge, Simuusa said the demarcation and reaffirmation of boundaries would guarantee peaceful co-existence of nations living in border areas.

"The demarcation and reaffirmation of our boundaries will guarantee peaceful co-existence of our nationals living in the border areas and will propagate the good and cordial relations that our countries have enjoyed," he said

He observed that a well delimited, demarcated and reaffirmed border could be used as a factor for peace, security, economic and social development.

"A well delimited, demarcated and reaffirmed border is a factor for peace, security and economic and social progress," said Simmusa.

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