ZIO MWALE, Chongwe
FOR Grain Munakampe, 53, of Madido ward in Chongwe district, having a land title deed means his children will live in peace even when he is not around.
He was one of the 92 residents of Madido ward who received title deeds from the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources under the National Land Titling Programme (NLTP), a government initiative that aims at ensuring that all allocated State land is put on title.
“I’m happy I have this title deed,” Mr Munakampe said. “It troubled me since I am old, what would happen to my children if I died? But now, I can die peacefully knowing my children will be left in a safe house and no one will trouble them.
“Before we got the title deeds, it was a life of misery because every time you go to bed, you sleep thinking what will happen next, I really appreciate this gesture by the Government.”
Mr Munakampe is urging Zambians who have no land title to register with the National Land Titling Programme and ensure that their land is secured.
Another beneficiary, Mathews Munguluba, also a resident of Madido ward, shared that he has stayed for over 10 years without title deeds and he was living in fear that one day his house would be demolished or claimed by another person.
“I had lost some hope in ever being given this title deed,” Mr Munguluba, a father of three, said. “I had applied before the programme [NLTP] but nothing had happened. I would go to the offices at the ministry [of Lands and Natural Resources] but they would not be able to help me or provide answers.”
He says when he finally received title to his land, he could not believe it because for him, it was the beginning of success for his family.
“I lived in fear for 10 years, until this programme came,” Mr Munguluba said. “I registered and paid, and today, I have my titles given to me by the ministry and now I can get a loan because I have a proof for my property.”
The two are among the 92 residents of Madido ward that have received title deeds under the National Land Titling Programme.
Minister of Lands and Natural Resources Jean Kapata says the 92 residents in Madido are the first to receive titles under the initiative that will ensure all allocated pieces of land, particularly State land, are titled.
Ms Kapata says the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources has been piloting the national titling programme in Madido and will soon move into Lusaka’s Kamwala South area.
“I personally issued title deeds for property owners in Madido. We were giving those that paid the statutory land fees only, this is just the beginning of the exercise and we are waiting for more people to register before it’s too late,” she says.
Ms Kapata says that the initiative is backed by Government’s resolve to accelerate social and economic development by regularising ownership of untitled properties in towns and cities as well as eradicating inequalities in gaining access to land in order to cater for all.
This will also enable the land owners get access to credit.
“My ministry decided to start with Madido Ward because most of the land here is not secured,” she says. “But next, we are moving into Lusaka district before scaling up the programme to other parts of the country.”
Ms Kapata says the National land Titling Programme will help to promote security of tenure of land in Zambia and at the same time ensure that land is documented fairly. It will also ensure that land is equitably and efficiently distributed for economic development.
“This programme is critical as there has never been a comprehensive regularisation of informal settlements and systematic land registration in Zambia, making it very difficult to facilitate informed sustained land use planning and management,” Ms Kapata says.
The programme in Madido included sensitisation, a social survey, ownership verification, detail picking, re-planning, placement of beacons, and preparation of demand notices and certificates of title.
“This programme will help to eradicate inequalities among interested groups in gaining access to land in order to cater for the less privileged,” the minister says.
She thanked the members of the community for supporting the programme and encouraged citizens who do not yet have tittle deeds to register for the programme.
Madido ward chairman Visto Kalaba is thanking the Ministry of Lands for the programme, which he says has empowered the people in the area.
Mr Kalaba says the residents of Madido have now secured their land because of the title, which have been issued to them.
He is now encouraging other residents in the area who have received demand notices to pay the statutory fees to enable the Ministry of Lands to prepare their titles.
“Now that residents have the title deeds, they are free, they can now stop living in fear because their property is documented in their name,” Mr Kalaba says.
In the 2018 budget, Government announced a nationwide National Land Titling Programme aimed at improving land tenure security and increasing transparency in land allocation.