THE Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources has issued 60,000 title deeds since the launch of the national land titling programme last year. Minister of Lands and Natural Resources Jean Kapata also says she will revoke timber licences in some districts of Western and North-Western provinces. Ms Kapata said the ministry will be issuing 75,000 title deeds per quarter until every piece of land in the country is accounted for. She was speaking yesterday when she featured at the Patriotic Front (PF) interactive forum.
“We are supposed to issue 75,000 title deeds every quarter. The problem is that the e-signature for the Commissioner of Lands has not yet been included in our system. “It is tedious for one person to sign all the 75,000 title deeds per quarter. That’s why we want to put the signature in our system,” she said. Ms Kapata urged all government institutions like schools and hospitals to get tittle deeds so that their properties can be registered and protected from encroachment. And Ms Kapata says Government will revoke timber licences in some districts of Western and North-Western provinces because of continued indiscriminate cutting of trees.
She said it is unfortunate that a lot of trees are being cut without being replaced. Ms Kapata has information about chiefs in some parts of the country who are allegedly giving timber licences to foreigners. She said the licences can only be given by the department of forestry. “It takes 90 years for a tree to mature but three minutes to cut it.
That is why we want sanity in the way trees are cut,” the minister said. Ms Kapata also called for enhanced coordination between the ministry and councils so that there is transparency in the way land is given out. She said the ministry is auditing land in the country to identify the one under the 10 percent for Government and the other one under 90 percent for chiefs. And the minister said formulation of the national land policy has reached validation stage and that chiefs will take part in the process.
At the same event, PF media director Sunday Chanda urged Zambians not to be misled by Yellow Card campaigners because they do not mean well for the country. Mr Chanda wondered why non-governmental organisations have not spoken out on, among other issues, civil servants who have been arrested and convicted of corruption. He urged Yellow Card campaigners not to misuse their freedom of expression by pushing for personal agendas. On Saturday, the Yellow Card campaign protest took place outside Parliament.