Features Letter to the Editor

Illegal land acquisition rampant

Dear editor,
THE illegal acquisition of land in Zambia has become rampant despite the presidential directive that people should follow proper procedures in acquiring it.
From my knowledge of economics, land is one of the factors of production besides capital, enterprise and labour.
In a nutshell, land is a vital resource as it can be used to generate revenue through farming, for instance.
It can also be used for building a house and other infrastructures such as a factory, among others.
For whatever purpose land is acquired, there is need to follow the right procedure to avoid being apprehended by the law enforcers. It is a fixed asset which is on high demand.
When purchasing it, it is imperative that you should verify the legality of the purported landlord or owner of the piece of land in question with the authorities.
These include the local authority and the Ministry of Land.
Oftentimes, people have been duped or rather swindled out of their hard-earned money in dubious land transactions.
Political cadres are the major culprits in selling illegal land to the suspecting general public.
They could do this in the previous regime with impunity and the trend has continued.
This is not supposed to be the case because a crime is a crime regardless of the perpetrators.
In some cases, the political cadres issue plots near graveyards, which is against the law.
Not long ago, some people were allocated plots near Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola.
They built houses which were later demolished.
This is because the structures were deemed illegal.
The problem of illegal land allocation is countrywide and something must be done to curtail the vice.
Even in an event of the person acquiring customary land from the traditional leaders, the right procedures must be followed and these should be fully supported by proper documents so as to avoid problems when the law is abrogated.
President Edgar Lungu was right when he sounded the warning that any person involved in illegal land transactions should be prosecuted.
He further said that there will be no sacred cows on the issue of illegal land acquisition or allocation.
The warning by the head of State is timely and it should be heeded by every Zambian.
Owning land is vital and the legitimate procedure must be followed in acquiring it.
Failure to do so is tantamount to crime punishable by law.
ELEMIYA PHIRI
Lusaka

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