By SARAH MWANZA –
THE Zambia Land Alliance (ZLA) has called on Government to guard against foreigners buying huge tracts of land at cheap prices and reselling it to Zambians at inflated cost.
ZLA executive director Nsama Chikolwa said foreigners were buying land from government cheaply and reselling it at a huge cost thereby making huge profits at the expense of nationals.
She described the development as a scam and sad as it had put the price of land beyond many ordinary Zambians.
Ms Chikolwa explained that foreigners had taken advantage of Zambia’s flexible land policies and weak land administration which did not protect locals.
She lamented that land was becoming too expensive for ordinary Zambians making it a preserve of the rich few.
“Whenever land is advertised, it is being sold at an expensive price. I don’t think we are making land available to the average Zambians. It is now only available to the elite,” Ms Chikolwa said
She said in an interview recently that there was need to re-examine the Companies Acts and other pieces of legislation and policies that allow foreigners to acquire land in Zambia.
‘We must think through most of our legislation and consider what we want to achieve since we do not want to give absolute ownership to foreigners to own land,’ she said.
Ms Chikolwa said government should also ensure that wherever land was given out to investors, it should be in the interest of local communities.
She bemoaned the continued centralised system of administration of land in Zambia saying it made it difficult for people to acquire title deeds.
Ms Chikolwa also called for clear procedure of land ownership. “Land is our birthright and every Zambian has the right to own it and the issue of land should not be politicised by anyone,” she said.