Livingstone council castigated over unauthorised land

DEPUTY Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Davies Mwango has castigated Livingstone City Council (LCC) for selling land that is not authorised by Government.
Mr Mwango wondered why the local authority has been giving pieces of land that was not gazetted by Government as plots.
He said this in Livingstone on Monday during a fact-finding mission to de-gazette Dambwa forestry where over 3,530 people applied for plots in 2012.
The applicants have, however, not been given the plots because the land is a forest reserve and not yet de-gazetted.
“Government is concerned with the council’s habit of allocating plots to residents without consulting relevant authorities such as water utility companies and my ministry.
“It is unfair for the council to advertise for plots and get money from poor residents without first getting clearance,” Mr Mwango said.
He said the tendency by the council to allocate land without consultation is wrong because municipalities are supposed to request for it from Government before advertising.
Mr Mwango said it worries Government when councils get money from “poor” citizens and promise them land which is not approved by his ministry.
He said allocation of land which is not approved by his ministry makes it difficult for Government to issue title deeds.
“As a ministry, we are agents and partners in the allocation of land and you must give out land with our consent. Do not only come back to us when it backfires,” Mr Mwango said.
He advised the municipality and other councils to follow procedure and law when dealing with issues of land.
Mr Mwango said it is Government’s desire to empower women and youths with land.
He advised Livingstone city fathers to come up with affordable fees as opposed to the K5,000 and K7,000 that was pegged as development fees for some residential and industrial plots respectively.
And council acting director of city planning Joseph Zulu said the municipality needs about 4,000 hectares of land to meet the current demand.
Mr Zulu said the council currently has 1,000 hectares of land for the development of a central business district in the Dambwa forest but will be more comfortable if the requested 4,000 hectares of land is given.

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