land ownership

Zambia’s Green Party fans foreign land ownership ban

Zambian opposition leader Peter Sinkamba is stoking for a ban on foreign land ownership.

Sinkamba, president of the Green Party, also labelled traditional leaders the main agents of ceding huge tracts of land to foreigners. “At the rate land is being given to foreigners, Zambians will be deprived of a critical asset for national development,” he said.

During his State of the Nation address earlier this year, Zambian President Edgar Lungu said there is a need to revise the Land Act to curb foreign land ownership. The 1995 Lands Act puts all land in the hands of the president, for and on behalf of the Zambian people. It provides for administration under two tenure systems: statutory and customary tenure.

Statutory land is administered in accordance with written laws by government officials, while customary land is administered by traditional authorities using unwritten and local customary laws.

This arrangement made it easier to acquire customary land through local traditional leaders. However, the land acquired was unsecured for long-term investment and not titled. Lately, civil society groups and other stakeholders have intensified efforts to lobby government to curtail the sale of land to foreigners.

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