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State to improve land policy

KELVIN CHONGO, Lusaka
GOVERNMENT says it is in the process of developing a land policy to improve land management in the country.
Acting chief land officer Mwila Chate said this is aimed at contributing to socio-economic development and enhancing environmental protection in Zambia.
He was speaking when he gave an update on the land policy formulation process at a media meeting sponsored by Zambia Land Alliance (ZLA) in Lusaka recently.
Mr Chate said this is in line with the African Union declaration  during the 13th ordinary session held in 2009 in Sirte, Libya.
“In Zambia land is the main source of livelihood on which over 60 percent of the population depend and is mostly used for cultivation, animal grazing and housing, among others,” he said.
Mr Chate also said there is need that land is managed in a sustainable manner to reduce poverty and promote harmony in the country.
“Zambia has never had a single comprehensive, clearly-defined and codified land policy. However, the government undertook countrywide consultations which culminated into a draft land policy in 2006,” he said.
And Zambia Land Alliance executive director Nsama Chikolwa said the media plays an important role in disseminating information, saying the press should help victims of land-grabbing.
Mrs Chikolwa said every Zambian has the right to access land and that this can only be done if there is a land policy that embraces all.
“We need a land policy that will stop illegalities on land from happening. We cannot accept cadres grabbing and allocating land when they have no authority,” Mrs Chikolwa said.
She also said that it is not right for native people who have been displaced to start working for such investors, saying investors and local people must work together.
“We are not against development but we want to see all Zambians come out of poverty by being part of the development taking place in the country,” he said.

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