GOVERNMENT has started engaging stakeholders countrywide to develop a land policy that will strengthen land tenure security for all categories of landholders especially among women and the rural and urban poor.
Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Public Relations Officer Diniwe Zulu said three Provincial Consultative meetings have so far been held to enable the country come up with a better lands policy.
Ms Zulu said her Ministry had lined-up Provincial Consultative meetings in all 10 Provinces where stakeholders from various interest groups would provide their views and recommendations as well as critique the document.
In a press statement released yesterday, Ms Zulu said there was a national ownership in the land policy formulation process to enable smooth and easy implementation of the document especially at grass-root level.
“The Government remains committed to engaging in a consultative process that will lead to the development of a policy that will strengthen land tenure security for all categories of landholders, and especially among women and the rural and urban poor.
“This is in order to enhance sustainable and productive management of land resources in a transparent and cost effective manner, while at the same time providing for a better framework for conservation and protection of ecologically sensitive areas, as well as cost-effective and efficient settlement of land disputes,” Ms Zulu said.
The Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection is responsible for Land Policy development and implementation in collaboration with other stakeholders.
For a long time, Zambia has not had a single, comprehensive, clearly defined and codified land policy to serve as an overarching policy framework to provide the necessary policy guidance on land administration and management.
However, various pieces of Legislation and administrative circulars are in place to support and facilitate land management, administration and governance.
In 2006, the Government embarked on the development of a National Land Policy through a country-wide consultative process, and this culminated into the Draft Land Policy of 2006.
In 2013, the Government, through the Ministry undertook further work to refine the draft Policy of 2006, but could not immediately proceed to finalise it due to the need to take into account the provisions and recommendations advanced under the Constitutional Amendment Process.
Having been ably guided by the provisions of the constitution pertaining to Land, the Government is eager to revise the draft Land Policy of 2006 with a view to having in place a Land Policy that meets the aspirations of the people.
The consultative process to review and finalise the draft Policy has therefore been re-activated from November 2015, under the leadership of the Ministry.
“The consultative process is ensuring that Roles of local and community-based land administration structures and those of the State are recognised and how these can best cooperate with each other in the formulation and implementation of the policy;
There is inclusive, full and informed participation of all stakeholders, including women, youth, Traditional Leaders and Civil Society Organizations among others,” Ms Zulu said.