By CHUSA SICHONE -
LANDS Minister Jean Kapata has indefinitely suspended the Ndola City Council and Kabwe Municipal Council as land administration agents.
Following that action, all land administration processes in the two councils will now be handled by the provincial lands office until sanity is restored in the two local authorities.
The decision was arrived at following high prevalence of illegality and lawlessness in land allocation and acquisition because of disregard to guidelines and laid-down procedures in land administration by the two councils.
Ms Kapata said her ministry was greatly concerned with the manner some councils in the country were administering land, warning that she would extend a similar action to other local authorities that failed to adhere to stipulated guidelines and procedures.
“My ministry, being the principal institution in the administration and management of land in the country, will not sit idle and let councils continue to disregard the guidelines in the administration of land.
“In this regard and in accordance with the Administrative Circular Number One of 1985, I am suspending the agency of Kabwe Municipal Council and Ndola City Council with immediate effect, for failure to adhere to the guidelines and procedures in the administration of land,” the minister said.
Speaking at a media briefing in Lusaka yesterday, Ms Kapata also directed technocrats in her ministry to revise the Administrative Circular Number One of 1985 so as to improve on land administration in the country.
Ms Kapata observed that the high prevalence of illegality and lawlessness in land allocation and acquisition in Zambia was threatening law and order and consequently affected the socio-economic development in the country.
“One of the Patriotic Front Government’s priorities is to provide a conducive and stable environment for increased socio-economic development of our country. Effective management of land is important in promoting economic development.
“However, the current disregard of the guidelines and procedures by councils has significantly contributed to illegalities and subsequently suppressed the overall development of our great country,” Ms Kapata said.
All councils are agents of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources in land administration in the country.