Editor's Comment

Let there be sanity in land allocation

VICE-PRESIDENT Inonge Wina’s visit to the Copperbelt highlights Government’s desire to restore sanity in land allocation.
Mrs Wina was in Ndola for a fact-finding mission on rampant encroachment on land by squatters.
Sadly, this scourge of illegal allocation of land is perpetrated by municipalities, not just in Ndola but across the country.
Government has refused to endorse the illegality which has gone unabated for decades.
Land is held in trust on behalf of the President by local authorities and traditional authorities.
It is amazing how cadres and councillors become land agents and discharge duties for which they are not mandated.
This has potential to create chaos because it undermines Government’s development agenda.
If cadres and councillors thought allocating land is a norm, Mrs Wina has a message for them: President Lungu is concerned about the scourge.
There has to be order and President Lungu is restoring it – starting with Ndola where he delegated Mrs Wina to conduct on-the-spot checks.
Mrs Wina has since taken Ndola City Council to task on why the municipality allowed residents to build on illegally acquired land on the banks of Kafubu River and near Levy Mwanawasa Stadium without taking action.
Mrs Wina said the alleged illegal allocation of plots, encroachment on land and the building of structures with impunity despite notices from local authorities shows high levels of indiscipline in some sectors of the society.
Where was the council when houses and commercial structures were sprouting on river banks because this piece of land was never advertised?
Who authorised people to encroach the area around the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium without council approval?
It is clear cadres connived with some unscrupulous councillors to illegally allocate land from unsuspecting people.
Zambia is not short of land for people to resort to scavenging for the benefit of lining their pockets.
But beyond the land issues is the animosity some cadres are exhibiting towards Copperbelt Province Minister, Bowman Lusambo, a Presidential appointee.
Mr Lusambo is executing his duties in line with the mandate he has from State House and not some cadres who know next to nothing about governance.
It is very difficult to understand some Copperbelt cadres’ behaviour because it does not paint the correct image of the ruling party.
Assuming they are aggrieved, the Patriotic Front has laid down channels to follow instead of behaving in an uncivilised.
There was certainly no justification for them to behave in the manner they did at the airport when they went to see Mrs Wina off.
It was quite base for the cadres to harass the minister and further attack journalists. They should not expect the minister to endorse illegality.
Mr Lusambo is on a mission to redeem the Copperbelt from illegal land allocations and if that is what the cadres do not like, they are in a wrong party.

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