By CHUSA SICHONE –
THE Ministry of Lands has warned that it will revoke 35,000 offer letters issued countrywide because of nonpayment of consideration fees by those in possession of the documents.
Lands Minister Jean Kapata also announced that the issuance of title deeds will soon be done from the Lusaka Showgrounds, where the National Titling Centre is being constructed.
Ms Kapata said in an interview at the weekend that the ministry would re-advertise the 35,000 plots once it repossessed the offer letters, to award them to deserving Zambians who were willing to pay the required fees.
Ms Kapata said the Government was being deprived of revenue by the people in possession of the offer letters in question.
“We are in the process of withdrawing those and re-advertise them. The 35, 000, it’s not only in Lusaka, but it’s countrywide and when we are talking about consideration fees, it’s a lot of money, which people are sitting on instead of paying to Government,” she said.
Ms Kapata said she could not immediately know how much money in consideration fees the 35,000 plots translated into, but reiterated that it was a lot of money.
Ms Kapata said before revoking the offer letters, the ministry usually wrote to the recipients and gave a 90-day period to pay.
She said the delays to pay the consideration fees, was negatively affecting the implementation of the national titling programme.
Ms Kapata, however, said the national titling programme was on course and that the ministry had engaged a company through a public private partnership arrangement to help in implementing the activity.
The aim of the national titling programme was to ensure that all Zambians that owned land had title deeds which they could use as collateral when applying for loans besides it enabling the Government earn revenue through collection of ground rates.