House of Chiefs advises over land distribution

HOUSE of Chiefs chairperson Chief Ntambu of the Lunda people of Mwinilunga district in North-Western Province has maintained that the traditional leadership remains in-charge of land alienation in rural areas. Government is in the process of strategising the process of reviewing the draft National Land Policy with the view to finalise the document and various stakeholders such as traditional leaders have since been engaged in the process. But Chief Ntambu observed that the issue of the National Land Policy had remained controversial and that the traditional leaders were still opposed to most of the sections. He explained in an interview with the Daily Nation that the current state of the Land Policy gave too much power to Government, reducing chiefs to mere surrogate custodians. “The issue of the National Land Policy is a hot cake because the traditional leadership is very much opposed to the sections. We don’t want traditional leaders to be excluded from administering the lands,” Chief Ntambu said. The traditional leader reiterated that giving too much power to Government over land would result in foreigners taking over land which belonged to the Zambian people. He said traditional leaders would do everything possible to ensure that land alienation in rural areas remained in their hands. Chief Ntambu stated that the traditional leadership had been in-charge of land for a long time and had held it in trust of the people. “We are very aware of sad situations in surrounding countries where they have found themselves in problems because they have not looked at the land policy very critically. That’s why we are very careful as traditional leadership in Zambia. We don’t want the power of our land to be put in the hands of the Government. “We will not allow a situation where our people are dispossessed of the land, because this the only asset that they have and if they are dispossessed, they will remain with nothing. We don’t want a situation where foreigners come to get land, not that we don’t want development in our areas, we want it but not at the expense of evicting our people from their own land,” Chief Ntambu said.

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