‘Give 50% land to women’

Zambian Lands Minister Jean Kapata has ordered councils to give 50% of land to women. This while a lawmaker has called for urgent legislation to bar foreigners from owning land in Zambia.

Kapata said her directive is predicated on President’s Edgar Lungu’s wish to see 50% of all land allocated to be given to women to drive more inclusive development. “This means that if a council advertises 1 000 plots, 500 of those should be given to women. And we will be counter-checking to ensure compliance with the directive,” she said.

Historically, Zambian women were marginalised when it came to land acquisition under the dual tenure systems of customary and statutory laws.

Meanwhile, Bwana Mkubwa Member of Parliament Jonas Chanda has called for an urgent revision of the land act to bar foreigners from owning land in Zambia.

Chanda, whose constituency is in the copper-rich Copperbelt Province, said foreigners should only be allowed to occupy land under a sub-lease or rent system from Zambians. “We should learn from other nations where land ownership has radical dimensions such as forceful land farm grabs,” he said.

A fierce debate on land ownership is raging. This after a recent controversial land sale in which an entire chiefdom, including the chief’s palace and 26 villages, were allegedly sold to a foreign investor.

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