State orders crack down on land grabbers

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 08:34:45 +0000

 

ALL illegal structures irrespective of their nature across the county will in the next 15 days be demolished, Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Minister Jean Kapata has announced.

And Ms Kapata has warned that anyone who will be found trespassing on land that did not belong to them would be arrested regardless of their political affiliation.

Ms Kapata said the demolition of illegal structures across the country would be conducted in collaboration with the Ministry of Home Affairs.

The minister made the announcement in a ministerial statement in Parliament yesterday.

 Parliament was also informed that the Patriotic Front (PF) government was not going to allow lawlessness in land allocation but would instead sternly deal with any illegal land occupiers.

Ms Kapata said the PF government was deeply concerned with the current rate of illegal land occupation, demarcation and allocation across the country by persons purporting to be cadres.

“This illegal trend has led to law abiding citizens being displaced from their lawfully acquired land. In some instances, landowners have been injured by these illegal land occupiers in the process of forcing them to vacate their land.

‘‘Illegal land occupation has been more pronounced in the cities where people masquerading as political cadres have indiscriminately invaded private and public land,” Ms Kapata said.

Ms Kapata said in Lusaka areas such as State Lodge, Silverest and Lusaka West had witnessed unprecedented levels of illegal land occupation.

She said the PF government would not sit idle and watch law abiding citizens being displaced from their legally acquired land by criminals masquerading as political party cadres.

Ms Katapata said there was no land that did not belong to anyone, adding that any land was held by the President on behalf of Zambians.

“Government will not protect anyone who breaks the law of this country and will not tolerate any person to illegally settle on any land. In order to ensure that land is made available to all Zambians, Government through the Ministry of Lands has been working with local authorities across the country to open up new areas for development under the Land Development Fund Programme (LDFP).

About 50, 000 plots have been created in the past two years by the ministry in collaboration with the local authorities,” Ms Kapata said.

Meanwhile, Ikelengi UPND Member of Parliament Elijah Muchima asked Ms Kapata when the Government would establish a commission of inquiry in order to ascertain which people were behind the illegal allocation of land.

This was after Mr Muchima accused the PF cadres of being behind the illegal land allocation.

But in her response, Ms Kapata said there would be no sacred cows when dealing with culprits in illegal land allocation and occupation.

She said the people behind the illegal land allocation could also be from the UPND, MMD and another political parties.

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