Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources Commissioner of Lands Mr. George Sindila has reiterated government’s commitment to ensuring that Zambians in the Diaspora own and benefit from Land as stipulated in the Diaspora Policy.
And Property Lawyer and Founder of Diaspora Connect Natasha Chiumya has urged Zambians in the diaspora to engage professionals whenever they want to purchase property in Zambia to safeguard their property.
During a virtual Zoom meeting organized by ‘Zambians Together’ in partnership with the Zambian High Commission in London and the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources under the theme, “acquisition of Land in Zambia”, the Commissioner of Lands discussed among other things how Zambians in the
Diaspora can acquire traditional or state land and how title deeds are processed.
According to a statement released to the media by Mrs. Abigail Chaponda, the First Secretary for Press and Public Relations at the Zambia High Commission in the United Kingdom, Mr. Sindila said the government recognizes the value that Diaspora populations bring in its development agenda.
“Every Zambian has the right to own land and the Ministry of Lands working with other Ministries like Foreign Affairs, Local Government and Commerce, want to positively enhance and support opportunities to the diaspora so that they can own land that can be used for investment or build properties. We want our Zambian Diaspora Community to invest in land in Zambia, thereby contributing to long term local and national economic investments,” he said.
He said to ‘tap diasporic wealth’ more broadly, the government is encouraging Zambians abroad to acquire land and invest in their country, so that they contribute to the growth of the country.
Mr. Sindila said Diaspora members perform a key development role as major direct investors in critical and emerging industries and first movers in the growth of important sectors and in the development of human capital.
“At the Ministry of Lands, we recognize the right of the Zambian Diaspora to benefit from the ownership of land and government shall attempt to provide information on land availability and acquisition procedures; ensure that local Councils avail the Zambian diaspora an opportunity to apply for land in newly opened areas, where designate missions abroad will facilitate the processing of applications for land acquisition,” he said.
And talking about drawbacks to buying property in Zambia, Ms. Chiumya said to avoid pitfalls, Zambians in the Diaspora should make sure that they deal with credible vendors or developers with a track record because they were few scams with unscrupulous people masquerading as developers that are not able to provide the infrastructure that they promised their clients.
She also advised Zambians abroad to proceed with caution when buying customary land “Customary or traditional land looks like a great bargain. The prices seem extremely reasonable, sometimes even ridiculously low. As our cities continue to spread out with a good road network, some of these areas are not as far as they used to be. But customary land comes with its own set of problems. It is not properly delineated and is often subject to encroachment. Moreover, you may be buying customary land that already belongs to someone else. It is hard to check this when there are no written records. As attractive as it seems, always proceed with caution when buying customary land,” she said.
And giving a vote of thanks, ‘Zambian Together’ member Mr. Cromwell Tambatamba thanked the High Commissioner, the Commissioner of Lands, Ms.Chiumya and all Zambians who attended the Zoom virtual meeting for sparing their time to acquire knowledge on buying land in Zambia “I have learnt that I still have a lot to learn,” he said.
‘Zambians Together’ is a collaborative initiative working closely together with the Zambia High Commission and various Zambian Community Associations and Networks across the United Kingdom (England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland) and the Republic of Ireland. Zambians Together is a non-profit organization setup as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic to help provide a one stop shop for the UK and Ireland Zambian community to communicate, collaborate, donate, raise awareness and unite with the purpose of providing the help and support that the Zambian community requires during the Covid-19 pandemic and to continue with the initiative post Covid-19.