*By MacPherson Mukuka in Lusaka*Draft Land Policy*
Ministry of Lands Acting Permanent Secretary LENOX KALONDE says the significance of a land policy to govern land administration in the country cannot be overemphasized.
He says lack of a National Land Policy has contributed to the various land challenges being experienced in the country.
Speaking during a one day national land policy consultative meeting with the House of Chiefs Mr.
KALONDE says it is important that an acceptable land policy be formulated as various pieces of legislation have not been effective in addressing the many challenges being experienced in the country.
He says the Ministry of lands has decided to engage traditional leaders in order to ensure the process of drafting and developing the land policy for the country adheres to the pre-requisites for social and economic development of society.
Mr. KALONDE has further informed the traditional leaders that the draft land policy development process is in line with the framework and guidelines of land in Africa which were developed by a tripartite consortium of African Union Organisation, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and the African Development Bank through a land policy initiative.
And the traditional leaders have expressed concern over the documents.
In a question and answer session to debate some clause in the draft document, Chief MADZIMAWE of the Ngoni people in Chipata says the document has not come in good faith as it is meant to deprive the royal highnesses of their power over land.
He wondered why the document has not stated clearly where the chief’s authority over land has been placed as it is not clearly stated in the documents.
Meanwhile, Chief KABINGA of the BISA people in Mpika District says the document if not well formulated might bring anarchy to the nation.
He says the draft policy document is aimed at encouraging corruption because it provides for foreigners to get title directly from government without going through the chiefs who are the custodians of land.
And in summarizing the chiefs concerns, House of Chiefs Chairperson, CHIEFTAINNESS NKOMEHSYA MUKAMAMBO THE SECOND has called on the Ministry of Lands to give the traditional leaders enough time to go through the document.
She says continuing with the debate over the draft policy might result in decision that do not mean while to the people being represented.
She has the concerns raised by chiefs are very valid and must be taken seriously other than rushing into formulating the policy.
Chieftainness NKOMESHYA has further disclosed that the chiefs where only availed the document a night before and have not had time to go through the document.