Reaction by Traditional Leaders at the Land Policy Meeting was extremely surprising-Jean Kapata

35
4,905 views
Jean kapata, MP, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources
Jean kapata, MP, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources

Minister of Lands and Natural Resources Jean Kapata has maintained that the reaction by the Traditional Leaders during the National Validation meeting was extremely surprising because the document that was sent to them in 2017 for use in the National Validation Meeting had to a large extent addressed the issues that were brought to the attention of the Technical Committee in September 2016.

Ms Kapata said that her remains committed to finalizing the process of validating the new land policy, despite the setback created by traditional leaders walking out of the validation meeting.

In a press briefing held today to explain what transpired during the document validation during the week, Ms Kapata said that her ministry will continue to seek opportunities to engage with the Traditional Leaders who are key stakeholders to the process.

The Minister further said that clarification on the specific issues brought up by the Traditional Leaders at the National Validation Meeting shall be communicated in writing through the Office of the Clerk of the House of Chiefs, with the hope that that another validation meeting shall be convened to move the process forward.

Below is the full address

Press statement by Hon. Jean kapata, MP, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources on the outcome of the National land Policy Validation meeting held on Monday, 28th February, 2018.

I have called this press briefing in order to explain the events that transpired during the National Validation Meeting for the draft National Land Policy Meeting which was convened by my Ministry on Wednesday 28th February 2018 at the Intercontinental Hotel in Lusaka.

Both print and electronic media have carried stories and aired footage regarding the walk-out by the Traditional Leaders at this meeting where they communicated their rejection of the draft policy document for various reasons.

I can confirm Ladies and Gentlemen that this indeed transpired. It is for this reason that my Ministry has seen it fit to have this press briefing in order to respond to what happened as well as clear the air and address the questions that must be lingering in the minds of the public and stakeholders.

In making my address, I shall first make reference to the most recent event of 28th February 2018, then move to provide some historical background so that there is a clear appreciation of the context. I shall conclude my address by providing what my Ministry sees as a way forward to make progress on this very important issue which is a matter of National interest.

1. The National Validation Meeting

The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources convened a National Validation Meeting for the Draft National Land Policy on Wednesday 28th February 2018. The purpose of the meeting was to ensure broad stakeholder participation in finalising the National land policy making process. The expected outcome was a validation of the draft National Land policy subject to the consideration of comments and clarification of issues raised in the meeting.
Present at the Meeting were Members of the House of Chiefs represented by the Chairperson of the House of Chiefs and two (2) Chiefs from each province.
In addition, stakeholders representing civil society, national, provincial, district and local government, cooperating partners, members of the academic community and others were invited to participate in the validation.
The meeting begun with a presentation on the contents of the draft land policy, where the proposed Policy Measures were presented in detail. Following the presentation, the Traditional Leaders were all given an opportunity to provide their initial comments, observations and suggestions.
Individual Chiefs spoke, and each of them expressed concerns that the draft policy document was not acceptable as it was taking powers away from Chiefs and did not indicate their roles and functions in land administration and management.

The Chairperson of the House of Chiefs was the last speaker who summarized the feedback from the Traditional Leaders with the conclusion that the House of Chiefs rejected the draft policy document on the following grounds:

  • I. There was no mention of Chiefs in the draft Policy document, thereby implying that the institution of Chieftaincy was being abolished;
  • II. The document was copied in exact form from the Land Policy in another Country where Chiefs had no role in land administration and management;
  • III. None of the comments that were previously provided by the Traditional Leaders in their comprehensive submission of 8th September 2016 had been taken on board in the current draft;
  • IV. Generally, the Traditional Leaders had not been consulted throughout the process;
  • V. The Traditional Leaders did not understand how only twenty-two (22) of them were invited to the National Validation Meeting when the country had 288 Chiefs.

The Traditional Leaders, led by the Chairperson then walked out of the meeting without providing Government an opportunity to respond to the points raised by way of clarifying the matters raised and clearly pointing out how the draft policy document had actually addressed the issues.

2. Historical Background

The members of the public might wish to note that Zambia has not had a comprehensive National Land Policy since independence. Land administration and management has been guided by legislation and other administrative circulars and guidelines.
The need for a National Land Policy strongly came to the fore during the implementation of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) from around 2002. Through an extensive consultative process, a draft National Land Policy was developed in 2006. The document could not be finalized due to the Constitutional Review process that had been embarked on by the Country during that period.

Following the guidance in the draft Constitution on matters related to land administration and management, my Ministry re-ignited the process of moving ahead to develop and finalize the National Land Policy in August 2015. The first step was to review the 2006 draft to align it with the current developments.

3. Stakeholder Consultations

A Technical Team comprising officers from my Ministry and other relevant ministries and institutions, including representatives from civil society, was constituted to spearhead the process, and the following consultative process was embarked on:

I. The first Meeting with the House of Chiefs was held on 3rd December 2015 in Lusaka. The meeting did not achieve the objective of receiving the views of the House of Chiefs on the proposals in the revised draft National Land Policy. The Chiefs indicated that they needed more time to study the document and consult their fellow Chiefs and subjects;

II. Ten (10) Provincial Consultative meetings convened as follows: Southern Province (15th November 2015); Eastern Province (22nd December 2015); Copperbelt Province (29th December 2015); Central Province (18th January 2016); Muchinga Province (20th January 2016); Northern Province (22nd January 2016); Luapula Province (25th Janaury 2016); North-Western Province (2nd February 2016); Lusaka Province (25th January 2016); Western Province (11th March 2016).

It must be noted that save for Lusaka and Western Provinces, Chiefs, and in their absence representatives, participated in the provincial consultative meetings. The section of the Chiefs was done in consultation with the House of Chiefs. The Provincial consultative meetings also included other stakeholders such as civil society, national, provincial, district and local government representatives, citizens and special interest groups;

III. The Second Consultative meeting with the Traditional Leaders represented by Members of the House of Chiefs took place on 12th May 2016 in Lusaka. The Meeting rejected the revised draft policy citing that it was defective especially in the area of preserving the institution of Chieftaincy and recognizing and defining their roles, responsibilities and place in customary land administration and management. A comprehensive submission from the House of Chiefs was sent to my Ministry on 8th September 2016.

Following the above consultative processes, the submissions were analyzed and some of the suggestions from the House of Chiefs as well as Provincial consultative meetings were taken on board in the 2nd revised draft.

It is important to summarize the main issues that were communicated in the comprehensive submission of 8th September 2016 from the House of Chiefs. These were the main issues that contributed to the rejection of the 1st revised draft:

a) The document was implying the abolishment of Customary Tenure, Exclusion of Chiefs from Land Administration and abolishment of Chieftaincy due to the transfer of land administration functions to the proposed Lands Commission;

b) The proposal that title deeds for customary land be issued and facilitated by a simplified government machinery for land delivery were not favorable. As an alternative, Customary title deeds for customary land shall be issued by traditional authorities and government must enact legislation recognizing customary land certificates issued by chiefs to be a legal document;

c) Institutional Framework comprising District Land Committees and Customary Land Committees to deal with Customary Land was not accepted. These bodies should restrict their activities to land on leasehold tenure;

d) Traditional authorities must be consulted by the Ministry of Mines before prospecting licenses are issued, consent must be given before mining rights are issued to investors, mining royalties must be paid to Chiefdom Trust accounts and there shall be agreements signed on shareholding between chiefs and investors;

e) The reference to vestment of land in the Republican President must be struck out of the draft policy document and replaced with classification and alienation of land and land tenure as enshrined in the amended Constitution under Article 254 (1) (2) of 2016.

As alluded to earlier, the above submissions, including others that were non-contentious and straightforward were taken on board. It is important to point out however, that the proposal related to mining was not taken on board as it was considered more relevant to a policy on mining and minerals development.

The 2nd revised draft is the document that was presented to the following additional consultative meetings:

  1.  Three (3) Committees of Parliament on 31st October 2017;
  2. A 3rd Meeting with the House of Chiefs on 11th November 2017; and
  3. A pre-validation meeting with civil society, cooperating partners, academia and other special interest groups on 21st November 2017.

The meeting of 11th November 2017 with the House of Chiefs was positive and cordial, with the Chiefs indicating that the draft presented was an improvement from the previous draft shared in 2016.

It was concluded that any further and specific comments and suggestions should be communicated in writing to the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources for consideration by 17th November 2017 to enable the preparation of the final revised draft for the National Validation Meeting. Having received no further written comments from the House of Chiefs, my Ministry proceeded to plan for the National Validation Meeting.

It is important to mention here that the main new addition to the final revised draft that was presented to the validation meeting was on the issue of non-Zambian ownership of land and the policy measure to restrict ownership of land to Zambians only, while non-Zambians would only enjoy access and use rights with an option to sub-lease or rent land from the government, private land owners and traditional leaders. These proposals came from the consultative sessions with the three (3) select committees of Parliament and in the pre-validation meeting.

Therefore, Members of the Press, the reaction by the Traditional Leaders during the National Validation meeting was extremely surprising because the document that was sent to them in 2017 for use in the National Validation Meeting had to a large extent addressed the issues that were brought to the attention of the Technical Committee in September 2016.

The copies of the versions at each stage have been made available to you. I would like to urge you to take time to read carefully, make comparisons and observe, how for instance the version that was tabled at the National validation meeting has:

1. Made reference to Traditional Leaders and their proposed roles in land administration and management. These provisions are captured in paragraph 7.1.3 of the draft policy document;

2. How the Chieftaincy has not been abolished and the dual tenure system has been retained as in the Constitution; Paragraph’s 6.3.1 and 6.3.2 have made reference to both Leasehold and Customary tenure, thus indicating that the two tenure systems shall continue to exist;

3. How there is provision for the Chiefs to issue customary certificates which are proposed to have legal recognition, subject to the development/review of the relevant legislation regulations and guidelines which shall detail rights and obligations to be enjoyed under such certificates. This is captured at paragraph 6.3.2, specifically Objective 5 on page 29 of the draft policy document;

4. That various pieces of legislation shall be reviewed and harmonized. This is reflected at paragraph 7.5 on page 45 which describes next steps regarding the Legal Framework;

5. How the institutional framework has been reviewed and revised, removing the structures that were rejected. This can be found at paragraph 7.1 on page 43 where the Implementation Framework is proposed;

6. The emphasis on consultation and consent by traditional leaders and their subjects especially on large scale land investments in their kingdoms. This is reflected at paragraphs 6.3.4 and 6.3.6 of the draft policy document.

It was also surprising to learn that the Traditional leaders do not understand how out of 288 traditional leaders, only 22 were invited to the national validation meeting. I must say colleagues, that convening meetings of this magnitude is a costly affair and is therefore based on representation.

You may wish to note that the House of Chiefs comprises five (5) traditional leaders per province. The fifty (50) that sit in the House represent the 288 Chiefs. Two (2) members per province was therefore considered at least representative enough. Of the two per province invited, the Chairperson of the House of Chiefs was consulted and he personally provided guidance on the Chiefs to be invited.

In conclusion, the objective of validating the draft land policy with the participation of key stakeholders was not achieved.

Despite this set-back, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources remains committed to finalizing this process, and shall continue to seek opportunities to engage with the Traditional Leaders who are key stakeholders to the process. Clarification on the specific issues brought up by the Traditional Leaders at the National Validation Meeting shall be communicated in writing through the Office of the Clerk of the House of Chiefs. After concluding the discussions with the Traditional Leaders, it is our hope that another validation meeting shall be convened to move the process forward.

I THANK YOU

Loading...

35 COMMENTS

  1. LAND ISSUES VS CHIEFS IS A HOT ISSUE IN ZAMBIA- THAT IS LESSON NUMBER ONE.
    ======================
    Don’t touch this if you care for your life. Damn are you talking about customary land. Know your limits.

    7

    0
    • Get RID of chiefs for heavens sake.

      They take too much and give NOTHING

      I have never understood them to start with.

      I own a FREE house here and will likely live in here for life, I dont want Zambian land.

      Keep it

      I threw away my Green Zambian Passport because I knew my Meroun British is coming once I sort out my Indefinite leave to remain.

      I hold a PhD

      Thanks

      BB2014,2016

      6

      14
    • Before zambia was, there was traditional leaders. Whose you to remove my village and chief from my NRC? Even the British failed to do that, may lightening strike you like doctors prescription, 4 in the morning, 4 afternoon and 4 at night.

      13

      4
    • Mushota lelo naizanda elyo naibeba (I understand it’s flipping cold). Mushota nalyefyalula most likely Nick’s d!ck kaili ni weekend. Then again what’s this about Green Zambian Passport being thrown away? Where are your residence details stamped in? Maybe niwebo illegal and you have been enticing Nick for the papers. After Brexit you will be flashed out!
      Coming to the point about Chiefs being got rid of, they shouldn’t because they are our national heritage and they are part of our governance system. Maybe you should champion that the Chief of England, the Queen and her Monarch should be abolished. After all now have nothing to do with Zambia and you are Scottish/British without papers. Fuseki!

      10

      1
    • Ignore this nick head mushota, she is just a british object under chieftainess Elizabeth, just like am chieftainess nkomeshya’s subject.

      5

      1
    • Depends who is presenting. Not people involved in Mukula saga, pouring water on men etc.
      Chiefs could argue and discuss with:
      Inonge Wina
      Sylvia Chalikosa
      Felix Mutati
      Emerine Kabanshi
      Joseph Malaji

      Those not on this list are useless, a disgrace.

      3

      2
    • @Mushota, when are getting ride off your traditional name: MUSHOTA? Call yourself Elizabeth III.

      7

      0
    • This issue cannot and should never be handled with a lackluster attitude by both the Government and our loyal traditional leaders. Its a very sensitive matter yet calling for leadership with a mutual sense of urgency for the good of mother Zambia. It has propensity of creating us serious problems in the country if overlooked. I see poor communication, mistrust and lack of experience to handle topical national issues at hand. Please get to better communication.

      2

      0
  2. The chiefs did well to put up resistance. The issue of land is complex as manifested through numerous conflicts around the globe. It is better to walk out of a meeting that doesn’t appear to make sense than comply with any validations.

    As for the minister, let her be surprised, lest she thinks she can always have it easy when dealing with matters of national interest. My heart still hurts when I recall how she defended the gunning down of Lions by trophy hunting tourists a few years back. I honestly can’t believe she is still in charge of our resources.

    9

    1
    • I feel sorry for PF leadership …. lost key ministers, made disastrous reshuffle, and now rejected by chiefs.
      No option but turn to be-friendly Jerabos.

      9

      1
    • They have none but themselves to blame. Perhaps they’ve been in power for too long to perceive obvious inherent mistakes mainly through lack of insight and self-criticism.

      3

      1
  3. Just why do we give too much space to these witches we may call chiefs. All land belongs to the state and chiefs should not give us unnecessary sweat – chibe maningi, ati we are chiefs. Besides they just bring too much confusion among their subjects who dont even know where to go when they get bewitched by the same chiefs.
    Lets make them irrelevant for now if not forever. I hope they wont bewitch me for saying all this. But the state can use a bigger chief to bewitch them if they dare the state.
    Away with house of chiefs.
    Disaster!

    3

    6
  4. If indeed you intend to consult widely, avail the updated version online for us to see the contents. It seems you want to cajole the chiefs into accepting the document in secret. We also want to understand the cause of this push and pull. The Zambian l Land Alliance also made important observations which we want to see if they have been taken care of. Who else have you included in this validation exercise?

    3

    0
  5. Further, people still trust chiefs because they don’t ask for bank statements when peasants go to seek land. Women and peasants get humiliated by those cheeky council workers during interviews for land. The people who feed the nation don’t even have bank accounts. Commercial farmers don’t sell their maize to FRA. So don’t bulldoze the process, you might regret later

    2

    0
  6. That’s too much incompetence on your part Jean, You should have worked with the Chiefs and the Zambian citizens from the start to the finish.

    2

    0
    • @ 7.1 “The meeting begun with a presentation on the contents of the draft land policy, where the proposed Policy Measures were presented in detail. Following the presentation, the Traditional Leaders were all given an opportunity to provide their initial comments, observations and suggestions.”

      Obviously you are not smart enough, The chiefs and citizens should have been involved in the formulation of the draft policy from the onset.

      2

      0
    • The land draft policy dates back to 2015 meaning the meetings with these witches was initiated with them. Obviously you have not read the article.

      1

      2
  7. You have to make them trust you, earn their respect, give them the guide lines and respect their contributions.

    2

    0
    • Go back and read the entire story because whatever you’re yapping is in plain language

      1

      1
  8. Fair enough ba Kapata. Can someone please make the document in contention available online? The speed with which the govt. badly wants this land policy suggests there maybe a catch. If this policy is key as you suggest it is, engage all 288! Why does the cost argument pop-up only when it is not politicians benefiting?

    1

    0
  9. Sounds like the Chiefs were sponsored by someone just like in the Referendum issue. I doubt they even read the revised document that addressed their concerns. The walkout seems to have been choreographed – why didn’t they wait for the Minister’s response? Sounds really irresponsible for Chiefs to walkout on a Government Minister – I know someone is very happy.

    1

    4
  10. The largest single interest group is the Zambia Land Alliance because it comprises several NGOs, various stakeholders and individuals. They haven’t been mentioned. Jean finally says that process failed because chiefs walked, but what were the views of the stakeholders she hasn’t mentioned by name? It’s difficult to believe Jean, please do the correct thing

    1

    0
    • The Zambia Land Alliance is part of the technical team that drafted the Land Policy. They have been part of the process from its inception.

      0

      0
  11. In what language are these communications between chiefs and government officials written? I hope they are not assumed to be understood in their English formats. If you have some “honourable” members of Parliament who can barely understand Bills they pass, how do chiefs who don’t have to know how to write their own names be expected to understand complex land issues which even some “educated” subjects don’t understand? If the nation can’t afford a qualified Lawyer to explain what is at stake, to every chief whose land is about to be “leased” to wealthy foreigners, maybe the time has not come for the “scramble for Zambia” to begin. Landownership has historically evoked bloodshed globally. Zambia is not going to be an exception to this rule, unless caution is exercised in what…

    0

    0
  12. looks like an indecent rush by some greedy leaders to make deals at the expense of the illiterate subjects. Let no one later turn round and say that they were not warned!

    1

    0
  13. The point here to emphasize is the question of selling the hard earned land to the aliens by some chiefs and questionable politicians.
    Land dispossession by aliens in the name of investors is rife in Zambia resulting in negative consequences such as consignment of the majority poor to the most unproductive land and inequitable distribution of land ownership largely in favor of a few rich selfish individual groups, also dislocation of the social and economic systems of the indigenous people in relation to land use.
    There are a number of key issues to be addressed in Land Reforms such as;
    To create an environment conducive to facilitating and ensuring the success of new entrants (local entrepreneurs) into the land market. There must be expert adviser in respect of land valuation…

    0

    0
  14. matters to be provided to chiefs and some politicians which they do not understand. The government should finalize without delay the Land Protection Bill to ensure coherent delivery of land reform. Service delivery via land reform should play an important role in clearing the way for disadvantaged previously marginalized individuals to exercise their capacity to act autonomously, to be full economic and social participants both in the local and export agricultural market. Land invasions by aliens are a great challenge that cannot be given a deaf ear and also irregular land uses and other activities that lead our Zambian citizens to be landless or with insecure land rights.
    We acknowledge that colonialism systematically undermined African agricultural systems by chiefs and their subjects…

    0

    0
  15. . Poor and misplaced policies by our past governments through substantial state subsidies and the availability of cheap Zambian labor could not developed a model that could alleviate poverty thereby forcing some chiefs and politicians in particular to sell land to aliens for a chorus. A sound policy framework will support new entrants into the land market for agriculture and there by disadvantage aliens like Chinese and also whites who are coming from South Africa and Zimbabwe. Restrictions based on tradition and cultural considerations are found respective chiefdoms where chiefs hold customary land in Zambia according to native custom and tradition. Such land cannot be owned by people who are not native Zambians unless the whole chiefdom dies out, after which the land reverts to the…

    0

    0
  16. the other chiefs. Only lease of land is possible to these aliens but again the 99years lease is too much should be repealed in the land reforms.

    0

    0

Comments are closed.