• Government has made proposals in the national land policy that the 99 year leasehold is not automatic.
• Economic benefits derived from foreigners owning land are technology and employment opportunities.
• Traditional leaders can only give land up to 250 hectares.
Minister of Lands and Natural Resources says acquisition of land by foreign nationals has in most cases disadvantaged local people.
Speaking in Parliament this morning, Jean Kapata said the huge chunks of land that foreigners apply for sometimes lead to displacement of local people, while compensation being given to the affected individuals is not enough.
Ms. Kapata stated that it is in this vain that government has been constantly engaging traditional leaders to be mindful of the interests of their subjects as they allocate land.
“It must be noted that Traditional leaders can only give land up to 250 hectares, above that requires authority from the Minister of Lands and his Excellency the President. Its law, the law says a Chief should give more than 250 hectares of land and the Ministry of Lands should only give up to 1, 000 hectares and anything above 1, 000 hectares then we must seek authority from his Excellency.
“But I know that there are some instances where our traditional leaders are breaking that law and we have been sensitizing them through the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs, we have also been to the House of Chiefs to make sure that we are moving together, “MS. Kapata said.
Ms. Kapata however explained that foreigners owning land in Zambia come with economic benefits that include improvement in Technology and capital investment, as well as creation of employment opportunities.
“ The number of foreign nationals who acquired Land and obtained title deeds is as follows; 32 in 2014, 57 in the year 2015, 81 in the year 2016, 69 in 2017, 91 in 2018 and 85 in 2019,” she disclosed.
She was responding to Chipili Member of Parliament Jewis Chabi, who wanted to know how many foreign nationals have acquired land and obtained title deeds countrywide year by year from 2014 to 2019 and what economic benefits are derived from giving lands to foreigners.
Meanwhile, Ms. Kapata revealed that Government has made proposals in the national land policy that the 99 year leasehold for foreigners is not automatic but that the lease period shall be in line with residential and investment objectives and planned developments.
“It is envisaged that the law be amended by the end of the third quarter of 2021.”
And Ms. Kapata said the Ministry has been having meetings with local authorities countrywide regarding land allocation to foreigners, adding that such issues will be history following the coming in of the land policy.
“In the land policy there are good things that have been written in the document to make sure that land is protected and land is given to the intended,” she added.