Minister vows to deal with council officials involved in chiefdom sale scandal

As new details emerge of the alleged involvement of a chief’s brother in the controversial sale of an entire chiefdom in Zambia’s Central Province, Local Government Minister Vincent Mwale has vowed to deal with council officials implicated in the scandal.

“Appropriate action will be taken against any council official found to be implicated in wrongdoing,” Mwale said.

The minister reacted to an appeal by a committee of headmen to dissolve Mumbwa district in whose jurisdiction the controversial land sale happened.

Chief Kaindu has since denied any involvement in the land sale.

According to the headmen, the brother of Chief Kaindu allegedly orchestrated the land sale by purporting to act on his behalf.

They alleged he was aided by council officials who were present when a 99-year lease was signed in favour of a named foreign company to conduct ranching and hunting activities in the area.

“We want the council dissolved and a land audit conducted,” said Alex Chipindu, on behalf of the headmen.

The land sale, which allegedly included the chief’s palace and 26 villages, sparked national outrage. Angry Zambians described it as the epitome of greed by traditional leaders.

Traditional leaders are empowered under the customary land tenure system to give land of up to 250 hectares subject to meeting conditions set by the Ministry of Lands and the Zambia development agency (ZDA).

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