Sat, 17 Feb 2018 13:54:12 +0000
By JOSSY CHAIMA
KITWE District Commissioner Binwell Mpundu is worried over foreigners acquiring land in Zambia.
Speaking at a Democratic Governance and Human Rights Advocates (DEGHA) meeting in Kitwe, Mr Mpundu said after obtaining the land, most Zambians were selling it to the foreigners.
He said Zambia had in the recent years received a good share of foreign investors in the mining and tourism sector but most of them had acquired land from locals.
“The challenge we are having is that most Zambians are crying that they don’t have land but when they are given they sell it to foreigners. My worry is that one day we will wake up and find the whole land across the nation has been sold off to foreigners,” Mr. Mpundu said.
He said Kitwe had a big challenge because people were allocating themselves land but warned that he would not sit by and watch culprits commit illegalities in the name of desiring land.
He charged that it had become a norm for anyone in Zambia to allocate themselves plots in the hope that once government demolished their illegal structures, they would be given alternative land.
Mr Mpundu said citizens must be encouraged to follow proper channels of land acquisition and management.
He said there was need to balance investment with good natural resources management, adding that government, investors and ordinary people must take up their role in responsible landscape investment.
Mr Mpundu said Zambians had been subjected to a lot of displacements with minimal compensation and the environment had been degraded with no benefit to the nation.
He said investors had resorted to invest in Zambia for different reasons, among them employment creation and national development- in terms of infrastructure and revenue base- but people should weigh if effects of such investment outweighed benefits.
And DEGHA president Gerald Muteba said every Zambian had a role to play in ensuring responsible investment in the nation’s land. Mr Muteba said there was need to develop a tool that everybody in Zambia would use to advocate for responsible investment.