By SYLVESTER MWALE in Chibombo -
VICE-President Inonge Wina has assured traditional leaders that the ongoing land audit across the country is not aimed at grabbing land from chiefs but to establish the available land for development.
Ms Wina said some chiefs might be worried that the intention of the Government was to repossess customary land, but assured that such views were far from the truth.
She was speaking yesterday in Chibombo when she met with Chiefs Chamuka and Liteta of the Lenje before inspecting the ongoing construction of John Chinena Market under the Jubilee Highway Market Project under her office.
“We hope that through this audit, we will be able to determine the land that belongs to each chiefdom, the land that belongs to the local authority and the land earmarked for development.
She added; “We want to bring electricity to chiefdoms; we want to bring manufacturing activities in chiefdoms, but if we don’t know the type of land that is available and the size of land that is available we may find it a challenge.”
She noted that the current wrangling over boundaries among chiefs was partly because no land audit had been done to determine the proper borders.
Chief Chamuka noted that the market project would motivate many women to get involved in small and medium scale businesses to enhance their household economies.
Meanwhile, addressing traders at the construction site, Ms Wina said the vision of the Government was to transform the highway market into a world class model for sustainable women empowerment and entrepreneurship development in Zambia.
“Going by the designs of this market and the progress that I have seen, I am sure that we are all beginning to appreciate the dream of building a modern, permanent, safe, integrated and multi-purpose service delivery centre which will serve not just marketeers but the travelling public and the communities at large,” Ms Wina said.
Ms Wina, who also launched preparatory activities for the International Women’s Day which falls on March 8, hailed Stanbic Bank for providing K1.5 million towards the construction of the market.
Stanbic board chairperson Austin Mwape said his bank was proud to be associated with the project because it had focused on providing financial solutions to small and medium enterprises.
Earlier, Central Province Minister Sydney Mushanga said the Patriotic Front Government would go down in the country’s history of taking care of traders selling along the roads.
The market at John Chinena is one of 10 to be built in each of the country’s provinces under the Jubilee Highway Market Project.