Finance Minister Felix Mutati has clarified that customary or traditional land will not be placed on title as part of the National Land Titling (NLTP) programme.
In his 2017 national budget, Mr Mutati announced that Government will launch a pilot National Land Titling (NLTP) programme starting with Lusaka Province as part of the budget measures and structural reforms.
But the announcement has been met with mixed feelings with some stakeholders such as traditional leaders in Lusaka province flatly rejecting the move.
The traditional leaders feel that the move to place all land on title will strip them of their inheritance and that they will cease to exist as Chiefs.
But in a statement issued by the Ministry of Finance, Mr Mutati said the Ministry of Finance would like to provide clarity on the Budget pronouncement regarding the national land-titling programme to ensure that all stakeholders including the private sector, the traditional leaders and the general public have correct understanding and expectations regarding the programme.
“As a background, the public should be made aware that the Government launched the National Land Titling (NLTP) programme and the National Land Audit (NLAP) Programme in 2013 and 2015, respectively. The key objectives of the land-titling programme are to improve land tenure security, increase transparency in land acquisition and enhance revenue collection, while the land audit programme is aimed at taking stock of all land and its use,” Mr Mutati said.
He added, “As a start, the Government under the land titling exercise is piloting low-cost titling in selected parts of Lusaka Province and intends to fully roll it out to the rest of the Province in 2017. It is however necessary to clarify that this land titling exercise is going to cover only statutory (leasehold) land that is permitted for titling under the statutes.”
Mr Mutati clarified that traditional or customary land will not be part of the exercise as it is governed under separate statutes.
“Members of the general public who will still have questions are encouraged to contact the Ministry of Finance or the Ministry of Lands which will remain open and available for questions and clarifications,” he said.