Looted land


We entirely agree with Hon Given Lubinda. Issues surrounding the controversial land in Libala must be sorted out before development can proceed.

It is very clear that the issue of land alienation in Lusaka is assuming anarchical levels because of the very serious connivance between officers at the Ministry of Lands and the Lusaka City Council.

Evidence  has emerged demonstrating irregular land delineation and allocation which must be explained by those who were involved in the survey, degazetting and subsequently allocation of the land to developers.

We have carried many stories showing serious discrepancy of multiple titles being offered by the Ministry of Lands for one piece of land.

Little wonder the work of the Lands Tribunal has been seriously compromised by officers who undermine the law and procedure.

Many plots of land that have not been surveyed for residential purposes but carrying water, sewerage and electricity installations have been allocated to residents who have proceeded to build on top of these facilities without the slightest worry or concern because they enjoy the support of public officers.

This form of connivance is dangerous not only to the occupants of these properties but also to the well being of the entire neighborhood as was exhibited in a recent case where a water pipe burst flooding the entire house which had to be demolished at great cost and to the discomfiture of the community that waited for days on end for the utility company to excavate and replace the pipes.

The biggest problem, it would appear is the absence of adequate oversight in the management and allocation of land. There is very little supervision at the Ministry of Lands and the respective councils resulting in virtual anarchy.

In Kabwe one worker was able to secure six plots using pseudo names. In the same town land reserved for recreation is now being developed for a shopping mall. The same is true of many other areas of the country where there is little respect for orderly development.

The task Force of illegal land allocation which came to birth in a blaze of publicity appears to have gone into slumber as the illegal sale and allocation of land continues unbated ,

Time has come for action. There must be demonstrable punitive action against erring officers who perpetuate the vice.

For a start we would urge Mr. Lubinda to investigate how the developers of the looters land obtained a title deed within a day of , lodging an application.

Anybody who has dealt with the Ministry of Lands will know that obtaining a title deed is not only time consuming but is laborious involving many agencies that have to deal with survey, numbering, allocation and finally  advertising, interviewing and allocation of the land to the successful applicant.

All this seems to have happened within the space of one week in a scheme of allocation that totally disregarded individuals that may have applied for the regularization of pieces of land many many years before.

Impunity in land allocation must be nipped in the bud otherwise it will become the norm.

Categorized | Editorial

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