Land time bomb

Harrowing and at time distressing stories are emerging of cadres invading parcels of title land which the subdivide and sale, sometime to unsuspecting individuals.
Often times however they simply invade and occupy the land daring the titled owners to report to any authority, and true enough Police are often un-able and totally powerless to intervene.
Widows, some still in grieving have had their land invaded and reports to the Police have gone without response because the Police are scared of antagonizing internal and external political leaders.
The growing recklessness and disregard for law is a curse and time bomb that will explode and engulf our society in the not too distant future.
Already more practical problems are being experienced due to “non-existent” land alienation procedures in urban areas where houses are being built on top of water reticulation facilities resulting in serious inconvenience and cost each time repairs have to be made in case of fracture or blockage.
At the heart of the problem is the growing anarchy and lawlessness to which the authorities are turning a blind eye in the hope that with time the problem will go away.
Land problem never go away, if anything they are a source of long lasting conflict which are likely to spill into the political sphere.
What is worrying however is the inertia exhibited by the Police as law enforcement agents.
This is true of the land belonging to former Matero Member of Parliament Ms Sinyangwe whose land situated next to the Matero police station has been invaded by cadres who have turned it into an office in spite of her protestations.
It is clear that while land invasions have become common place, especially in Lusaka Police are wary of interfering and protecting the legitimate interests of the land owners because of the ever present danger of political retribution.
Most people are now going to courts of law as the last shields of protection; but objectively the courts will also ultimately seek the services of the Police to enforce any orders that may be given.
Our main concern however is that there will come a time in the not too distant future when those enjoying political favour today will lose it and will become open and vulnerable to legal proceedings which may see them lose property or worse in the ensuing conflict.
Prevention is always the best measure to avoid conflict. Indeed in the interests of protecting the rule of law it is important that party functionaries  take it upon themselves to educate cadres against the vice of land encroachment because it  against the  rule of law and casts the ruling party in  very bad light.
Sadly conflict over land is not only experience in urban areas, more  differences are now emerging from newly created Districts where boundaries are cutting across traditional empires.
This situation promises to generate controversy and conflict which if not properly controlled could result in conflict. There is need therefore that a mechanism is evolved within the Ministry of Local Government Housing to deal with the issue of Land alienation to stop what may develop into serious conflicts.

Categorized | Editorial

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