Republican President Edgar Lungu has been called upon to give direction to newly created Chisamba District Council and provide a framework for smooth transfer of functions and responsibilities from old establishments to new Councils.
Governance Activist Isaac Mwanza says this is aimed at avoiding land scams where local authorities, in collaboration with the Ministry of Lands, intend to displace indigenous settlers in places like Kamaila Suburbs of Katuba Constituency in favour of foreign entities and persons with money.
Mr. Mwanza has warned that there is looming displacement of indigenous settlers in some parts of Katuba Constituency in favour of many foreign nationals and officials from the Lands Ministry who have applied for land in the recently advertisement of plots by Chisamba District Council and thus the need for Government through the Ministry of Local Government to quickly intervene.
He said President Lungu must quickly realize the problems that stem from unplanned creation of Districts and smooth transfer of functions as is the case when late President Sata created Chisamba District.
Mr. Mwanza said he is aware of a subtle conflict that has arisen between Chibombo District Council and newly created Chisamba District over jurisdiction with Chisamba District getting determined to flush out locals who, for decades, settled in Kamaila Block in favour of listed down applicants, most of whom are foreign nationals and officials from the Ministry of Lands.
He furthermore stated that Chibombo District Council had and still considers itself to have jurisdiction as agents over land extending to boundaries with Lusaka on the South, Chongwe on the North and Kabwe on the South.
He noted that with the creation of unplanned Districts by past and present President of the Republic of Zambia and the failure to provide for smooth transfer of responsibilities, problems of this nature will be abundant around the country.
He has called on area Member of Parliament Jonas Shakafuswa to stand with his people by bringing the matter to the attention of the Minister of Local Government, John Phiri, to stop the current move by Chisamba District Council from pushing local people who are rightful owners out of their land.
The Governance Activist says what leaders ought to remember is that the issue of land is highly emotive among the people and this is why Chiefs have been opposing measures to constitutionalize matters that will take away their powers to safeguard land on behalf of their people.
He reminded President Lungu to remember what he observed during the swearing in ceremony of Lands Permanent Secretary Barnaby Mulenga that was disheartening that the acquisition of land has become a preserve of the rich and to redirect his Minister to implement the PF policy of equitable and affordable land distribution.
Mr. Mwanza said what Chisamba District Council intends to do must never be allowed by any leader or citizen of this country to be done to its local people, no matter how poor they are and if President Lungu means well for people regardless of their tribe or status in life, he must intervene as a matter of urgency.
He said the country can’t afford to see the local councils sell the people’s land rights to foreign citizens or those with money just because they have money to legally buy off land from these corrupt councils who are working with officials from the Ministry of Land to displace rightful owners and settlers from their land.