Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Jean Kapata, says government is committed to secure land tenure for its citizens and eradicate any possible inequalities, in order to cater for the less privileged in society.
Ms Kapata adds that there is dire need to have adequate land management information systems to strengthen land governance, in both customary and state owned land.
She said this in a speech read on her behalf by Central Province Assistant Secretary, Mwape Kasanda, during the official hand over of customary certificates in Chisamba district.
Ms Kapata said security of tenure for people residing under customary land tenure systems has become increasingly under threat, due to the unprecedented urbanisation growth which has seen towns and cities subsuming villages within their proximity.
The Minister noted that urbanisation has offset a retrogressive trend of uncoordinated land purchases in customary areas which has unfortunately seen families being displaced from their ancestral lands, adding that the trend has largely affected women and children.
Ms Kapata added that the challenge of insecurity of tenure under customary land administration is exacerbated by the inadequacy or lack of reliable up-to-date records with regard to the actual number of people living in a particular village.
She further emphasized that there is need to look into sustainable implementation strategies which are participatory, pro poor and tender sensitive which can be scalable to compliment government land policy in the country.
And Chief Chamuka of Chamuka village said the issuance of tenure certificates will reduce the gap in the ownership of land between men and women.
The traditional leader said 3,584 individuals covering 601 households in his chiefdom will enjoy tenure on customary land.
He has however warned beneficiaries of land tenure certificates that the papers were not title deeds, saying the authority of land still remains in the custody of the traditional leadership.
One of the beneficiaries, Veronica Katulushi, said she felt empowered after receiving the certificate.
During the ceremony, 490 villagers were issued with customary land tenure certificates from ten villages.
Several other chiefs from Central Province attended the ceremony.