The Zambia Land Alliance (ZLA) has welcomed Cabinet’s decision to approve the National Land Policy and its implementation plan.
ZLA Executive Director Patrick Musole says his organization is pleased that there will be a document in place that will guide the proper management of land in the country.
Mr Musole says the development is a step in the right direction and expressed hope that it will successfully be implemented.
He said Zambians who have been marginalized through the violation of their land rights will now enjoy the benefits of a policy when it is fully implemented.
Mr Musole is hopeful that different challenges regarding land governance will become a thing of the past.
“We have had numerous challenges to do with land allocation for the marginalized especially women. I think you may be aware that because of our tradition and culture, especially customary areas, land has been dominated by men. Women have not been allocated land in their own name,” he said.
He said the policy will address laws that have not protected owners of customary land but instead favoured investors who wish to displace indigenous people.
Mr Musole said the implementation of the policy entails that indigenous people owning the land will have to consent to an investor taking ownership of the land.
“You may have heard stories about people that have been displaced from the customary land by large scale investors, the process of acquiring the land was not consultative in the past. Our laws and policies did not provide for a consultative process so that people are informed so that they make informed decisions. We are happy that the policy that has been approve makes way for pre and prior-informed consent,” he said.
He stated that the illegality in land administration where political party cadres have power to allocate land is also another challenged that will be addressed with the policy.
Yesterday Chief Government Spokesperson Dora Siliya disclosed that Cabinet had approved the National Lands Policy and its Implementation Plan in order to improve land delivery systems in the country for the benefit of present and future generations.
According to the Chief Government Spokesperson, the Policy is intended to guide land administration and management in order to open up opportunities for every Zambian to access and secure their interests in land regardless of status and will further strengthen security and tenure and enhance management of land resources.
Zambia has not had a comprehensive land policy since attaining independence in 1964