GOVERNMENT has refuted assertions from some sections of society that the draft Land Policy does not conform to the provisions of the amended Constitution of Zambia.
Ministry of Lands Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Permanent Secretary Trevor Kaunda said the draft Land Policy conforms to the provisions of the Constitution particularly in the areas of vestment of land and the Institutional Framework.
Mr Kaunda said that the Technical Committee and the consultant who were tasked to draft the Land Policy had made reference to the amended Constitution.
This is according to a press statement released yesterday by Ministry of Lands Natural Resources and Environmental Protection public relations officer Diniwe Zulu.
“In line with the amended Constitution of Zambia the draft Land Policy Document is also advocating for equitable access to land, security of tenure and recognition of cultural rights.
“It is also advocating for positive action with regard to allocation of land to women and disadvantaged groups in society,” Mr Kaunda said.
He has called on the general public including civil Society to take keen interest in the Land Policy formulation process and read both the Constitution on land section and the draft Land Policy.
Mr Kaunda stated that Government had not drafted a Land bill.
The Ministry was currently undertaking consultations with all key stakeholders across the country to come up with a policy that meets the desires of the people.
Mr Kaunda said the preparation of the Land Bill would only be considered once the policy has been approved.
“The consultative process has been inclusive and the same members of civil society, particularly Zambia Land Alliance have participated in the eight provincial meetings that have been done.
“The Zambia Land Alliance is in fact a member of the Technical Committee on the drafting of the land policy. The next meeting for Lusaka province is slated for February 25 this year and their representatives are going to be invited to participate and present their clear and specific recommendations on the content of the entire document,” he said.
Mr Kaunda emphasized that consultation was important if the policy had to meet the aspirations of the Zambian people, adding that Traditional leaders had participated in the various meetings and they have shared their views and observations on the strengths and weaknesses contained in the document.
A second meeting with the House of Chiefs is scheduled to take place to allow the chiefs who are important stakeholders to further articulate their views and recommendations to the technical committee.
“The government remains committed to engaging in a consultative process that will lead to the development of a policy that will strengthen security of tenure and protect the interest of all Zambians.
“This will enhance transparency, sustainable and productive management of land resources 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,” Kaunda said.