SOUTHERN Province Minister Edify Hamukale has described as greedy and illegal, UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema’s reported acquisition and fencing off a stretch of more than 1, 500 hectares which has been a communal grazing area for animals in Namwala.
Dr. Hamukale has charged that there is no way one individual can take up such a huge portion of land without following the law.
Under the current land law, only the President can authorise allocation of more than 250 hectares of land.
“First of all, communal land should be respected and ancestral land is an inheritance from our fore-fathers. And so, no one individual without following the law can get such a huge chunk of land. I will consult relevant departments and follow up this matter as I don’t have a written report,” he said.
“Whatever the case, communal land should be left to the people…because what are they going to remain with? And any one
taking communal land away from the people, that action borders on greed, inability to feel for the people,” he said.
Dr. Hamukale was speaking in an interview at Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport after seeing off the Indian President Ram Kovind, who was in the tourist capital.
He said the job of political leaders whether in the opposition or government is to improve the welfare of the people and not to disadvantage them.
“Anyone neglecting such a norm is really acting contrary to what society expects. I will verify with the aggrieved community,” he said.
Meanwhile, Central Province Permanent Secretary Chanda Kabwe has offered land to families whose land in Namwala has been grabbed by the UPND leader.
Mr Kabwe said he has decided to offer land to the families after over 1, 500 hectares of land used for animal grazing was fenced off in Namwala
Mr Kabwe was reacting to an incident where over 600 villages in Namwala have been left without grazing land for their animals after some headmen gave Mr Hichilema over 1, 500 hectares.
He said land was available in Central Province and he was ready to assist them settle.
Mr Kabwe said the decision by the UPND leader to grab land from the poor and helpless people was a clear indication that he was a person who wanted everything to himself.
“As Central Province, we have available land to accommodate those people whose land has been grabbed by the UPND leader. We are telling those people to get out of slavery and come here where we are ready to give them land, grant them freedom and treat them as human beings.
“So like President Edgar Lungu has taught us, let us continue to pray for peace and unity even if enemies are working day and night to destabilise our nation. With peace and unity, we can work together to address the various challenges we are facing,” Mr Kabwe said
He also said the government would not waste time responding to provocative statements from some disgruntled politicians who have engaged in malicious campaigns.
“So as a government, our mission is to improve service delivery in various sectors of the economy and also to improve people’s lives. So we will not waste time responding to all sorts of malicious campaigns,’’ Mr Kabwe said