Chiefdom sale saga creates storm over councils

The Zambian government has suspended two councils from serving as land administration agents. Councils are under increased scrutiny after the alleged sale of an entire chiefdom in Central Province, allegedly in cahoots with the local council.

Lands Minister Jean Kapata announced the suspension of Ndola and Kabwe Municipal Councils because of alleged maladministration.
She said the suspensions will be followed by a thorough overhaul of the role of councils in land administration.

“In the meantime, all land administration in the two councils will be handled by the provincial office until sanity is restored,’ she said.

“No council official will be spared if found to be illegally allocating or acquiring land,’ said Local Government Minister Vincent Mwale in reaction to the suspensions imposed by his counterpart.

Organisations like the Zambia Land Alliance (ZLA) and others are unanimous in support of the suspensions.

“The revocation of the land agents’ licenses for the Kabwe and Ndola councils will bring sanity in councils, as numerous citizens had been subjected to suffering because of a few selfish individuals,” said National Restoration Party (NAREP) chairperson in Central Province, Belington Mulenga.

“The council at the centre of the controversial sale of an entire chiefdom in Central Province must be suspended too, and investigations be conducted about compliance in the acquisition of the land,” ZLA said in a statement after representatives visited the area.

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