LAST year, Government spent US$ 1.8 million to procure a new computer system, which has a geographical information system (GIS) component to end dubious allocation of land and also facilitate effective land administration.
The new computer system was procured and installed to trigger the migration from manual to the computerized land management to improve efficiency in records management.
The US$ 1.8 million also involved the training of staff in the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environment Protection in managing the Zambia Integrated Land Management and Information System (ZILMIS) .
Government contracted an Israeli consultant Sivan Design D.S Ltd to install the new computer system at the Ministry of Lands and to train all workers at headquarters.
Therefore, we do not expect Government to fail the land administration test when so much money was spent to equip officials in the Ministry of Lands in land management skills.
Stories such as the one in Kabwe where suspected Patriotic Front cadres have taken over land which is meant for genuine developers should not be allowed to continue.
The Patriotic Front should make a clear statement on land administration and put in place stringent measures that will deter its cadres from taking over land which does not belong to them.
It is this illegal takeover of land by ruling party cadres that over the years has caused proper town development difficult.
We are not only talking about the Patriotic Front cadres but also all the cadres that have been associated with the ruling parties.
We saw how land administration was compromised in the UNIP administration and also the MMD reign.
The party cadres of the ruling party have a tendency of disregarding laws related to land administration.
It does not worry them whether the land is for settlements or protected area.
This is what has caused most towns in Zambia to be surrounded by shanty townships.
It is because of these unplanned shanty townships that there is so much pressure on local authorities to provide social amenities to illegal developers.
Government’s responsibility is to ensure that all prospecting developers follow the law of land acquisition and its development.
Short of this should surely attract a rapid response from Government to outlaw the unplanned settlements and ensure that the illegal structures are not allowed to be erected.
As we have stated this should not be an impossible task as investment has already been made in the Ministry of Lands.