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Jean Kapata dares HH over 1,581 hectares-Namwala’s Ngabo

Jean Kapata dares HH over 1,581 hectares-Namwala’s Ngabo

April 24
15:47 2018

By Derrick Sinjela and Titani Zulu

In an update the nation on the much publicised allocation of 1,581 hectares of land in Ngabo, Namwala District of Southern Province, Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Jean Kapata is saddened with the development.

President Lungu with Hakainde Hichilema

Jean Kapata

Responding to reports circulating in the media over the displacement of 600 households in Mukobela Chiefdom, Namwala District as a result of the fencing of 1,581 hectares of land, Kapata recollected that the land in question covers Ngabo area; Chief Mukobela’s Chiefdom and ends in Chief Muchila’s Chiefdom.

According to the lands act of 1995, Kapata, a Patriotic Front (PF) Mandevu Member of Parliament in Lusaka, noted that Zambia has a dual land tenure system.

“The two systems are customary and leasehold tenure. The right and privilege of any person to hold land under customary tenure is recognised and any such holding under the customary law applicable to the area in which a person has settled or intends to settle cannot be construed as an infringement of any provision of the Lands Act or any other law except for a right obligation which may arise under any other law,” explained Ms. Kapata, alluding to the Mukobela Chiefs Council four-point resolutions.

In a Tuesday 24th April, 2018, Media Statement circulated by Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources (MLNR) Public Relations Officer (PRO), Diniwe Zulu, on the allocation of 1,581 hectares of land in Ngabo, Namwala District, Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Jean Kapata said the Mukobela Chiefs Council had noted that United Party for National development (UPNND) President Hakainde Hichilema needed to open a corridor of 20 meters wide for the community to easily move the river and the corridor should be open without gates to avoid conflict.

Secondly, that the entrepreneurial Mr. Hakainde Hichilema must leave a big portion of land in the western part of the island for the community to use for grazing their animals.

Thirdly, the Mukobela Chiefs Council observed that the Southern part of the higher land must be reserved for future development.

Fourthly, the Mukobela Chiefs Council said Mr Hakainde Hichilema’s claim was upheld as it was supported by headman Moola, who is the custodian of the land in dispute.

Chief Ngabwe at Lands Ministry Validation Meeting Wed 28 Feb pixtures by Wilson Sandala 0977510362

However, Ms. Kapata conceded that the resolutions of the Mukobela Chiefs Council had not been implemented hence the public outcry.

“As Minister in Charge of Lands and Natural Resources, I have requested technocrats and the Local Authority to investigate the matter. It has come to my attention that a number of meetings have been held to discuss the land dispute and several recommendations have been made by the local authority,” stated Ms. Kapata.

Among the four-point findings of the the Mukobela Chiefs Council meetings was that: ‘the land in extent of 1,581hecteres was allocated to Mr. Hakainde Hichilema by Headman Moola in 2013, secondly, it was found that some of the community members were displaced as a result of fencing of the land, with the fencing of land has depriving the households of grazing land for their animals and  allocation was done without taking into consideration the interests of the settlers.

In view of the above, the meetings held by the local authority resolved as follows that the headman erred in allocating land to Mr. Hakainde Hichilema in extent of 1, 581 hectares, therefore, the local authority resolved to write to Mr. Hakainde Hichilema on the matter.

In addition, that the fencing must be stopped and whoever is found working on the piece of land be arrested with Headman Moola and Headman Musholwa being advised to inform Mr. Hakainde Hichilema that the land had been given back to the community.

Mms. Kapata says appealed to the traditional leadership to consider the interest of the community before allocation of land to developers, to ensure that the settlers are not disadvantaged in any way.

Ms. Kapata said as Lands and Natural Resources Minister, she had upheld resolutions made by the Mukobela Chiefs Council, District and Provincial administration during the various meetings.

“The fence on the subject land should be removed to allow the community access to the land for animal grazing. Government will not allow the displacement of citizens in their own country,” said Ms. Kapata.

 

 

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