The government says it is concerned with the ever-increasing disputes regarding chiefdom boundaries which is detrimental to the development of the nation.
Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Garry Nkombo says land is a huge asset to the nation that is key to economic development.
Mr Nkombo said it is necessary that issues around land and boundaries are well managed.
He stated that more than 90 percent of the land in Zambia is customary land domiciled in chiefdoms.
The Minister was speaking yesterday in Lusaka at Mulungushi Conference Centre during the distribution of chiefdom boundary and Topographic Maps to chiefs from 10 Provincial centers.
Mr Nkombo pointed out that the distribution of the 1958 chiefdom boundary maps is an important undertaking as it signifies government’s resolve to address land issues.
He said government is optimistic that with the enhancement of the 1958 chiefdom boundary map, the disputes surrounding chiefdom boundaries will now be minimized.
“Government takes keen interest in matters of both state and customary land as it is essential to the prosperity of the nation. Government will soon engage all relevant stakeholders and traditional leaders on the 1958 revised chiefdom boundary maps across the country including the affected chiefdoms to ensure that the matter is addressed adequately,” he said.
Mr Nkombo added that the reproduction of the 1958 chiefdom boundary map was done by superimposing topographic features and did not involve production of new maps.
He noted that no new chiefdom maps can be produced without extensive consultation with various stakeholders and key to these consultations are your royal highnesses.
And Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Elijah Muchima said that the Ministry is overwhelmed with a number of land wrangles and succession disputes coming from various chiefdoms.
Mr Muchima stated that the 1958 chiefdom boundary maps being the latest official version supersedes all earlier versions of maps produced.
He noted that the Topographic and Chiefdom maps remain under the custody of surveyor generals in the ministry of lands and natural resources.
And speaking on behalf of the chiefs, House of Chiefs chairperson, Chief Nkula appealed to the government to expedite in solving the disputes on the maps.
He also urged the chiefs to ensure that they solve the issues of disputes without fights.