The Zambian government has assured traditional leaders that they will continue to be custodians of customary land under the proposed land reform policy following last week’s stand-off that.
“Some chiefs might be worried that the intention of government was to repossess land and strip them of powers to administer traditional land. Such views are far from the truth,” Vice President Inonge Wina said earlier this week when she met chiefs in Central Province.
Chiefs last week stormed out of a consultative meeting in protest over the proposed land law. They insisted the revised act must enshrine their powers to administer land, including the issuing of title deeds.
Wina said the ongoing land audit exercise would ensure disaggregation of land belonging to local authorities, traditional chiefs and the government earmarked for development.
Lands Minister Jean Kapata said the process of validation will be put back on track after re-engaging the leaders through the House of Chiefs.
“It is important to ensure chiefs who are a major stakeholder in administration of land are fully aligned before validating the proposed new policy,” she said.