LAW enforcement agencies should develop an effective strategy in tracking down unscrupulous people who have gone on rampage grabbing land after masquerading as political cadres.
This sad phenomenon is rampant in the capital city Lusaka where criminals are targeting farmers in outlying areas.
Home Affairs deputy minister Stephen Kampyongo, who toured Lusaka West yesterday along with other Government officials, was categorical in stating that the people grabbing land and assaulting farmers are criminals and not political cadres.
It will be prudent for law enforcement agencies and Government officials in the Lands Ministry as well as Local Government and Housing to extend inspections to other parts of the country.
Settlers in the countryside are equally being harassed by machete-wielding youths under the guise of political activism. Many cases are going unreported!
In fact, the fight against this kind of criminality will be more effective if political party leaders at district and provincial levels were involved as they would be able to disown criminal elements using their organisation’s name.
The sad tale of criminals invading Mr Siisi Lisulo’s farm in Lusaka West is not the only one, as the misfits have in the past attacked Mr Elijah Kasonso of C.K. Mable in the same area after invading his land.
Mr Lisulo at the weekend watched helplessly as the invaders shattered windows and broke down the doors at his homestead.
Mr Kasonso has in the past suffered the same fate and at one time his house was torched by criminals in broad daylight.
Yes, people have in the past been prosecuted, but the illegal trend has continued.
Such levels of lawlessness must be met with corresponding or harsher action on perpetrators who have no regard of genuine investors.
We salute Mr Kampyongo, his Local Government and Housing counterpart Forrie Tembo, Lusaka Province police commissioner Lemmy Kajoba for re-committing themselves to the fight against illegal land allocation.
However, this kind of commitment must be extended to all parts of the country where farmers and other inhabitants are suffering at the hands of these criminals.
Violence on farmers has the potential to scare away investors both local and foreign and all perpetrators of this vice must be withdrawn from public circulation.
We appeal to people intending to acquire land to get such a vital resource from the local authority, Lands Ministry or registered real estate firms.
It is important to cross check documents when buying land from individuals as some of them may not be genuine.
Zambia is in a hurry to develop and genuine land developers, farmers and other investors must be left to enjoy their investment. OPINION