Choma, March 3, ZANIS———-Choma Municipal Council Town Clerk Timothy, Mbalakata, says there is need for all government land in the district to be put under tittle in order to address the issue of land encroachment.
Mr Mbalakata said government risks losing land to private individuals who encroach on government land and acquire tittle to take possession of it.
Speaking during the full council meeting in Choma, Mr Mbalakata said the local authority has on several occasions failed to prove that the encroached land belongs to the government due to lack of tittle deeds.
“The local authority must quickly put measures that will see all government land in the district secured under tittle if the issue of land encroachment is to be addressed”, he said.
Mr Mbalakata said it has been difficult to defend government land in the courts of law once encroached due to lack of tittle deeds.
He, however, added that the local authority shall prioritize land allocation for government infrastructure to respond to the increased demand arising from the move of the provincial capital from Livingstone to Choma.
He said the local authority has no land for expansion of the district currently but the council has resolved to reposes land from some farm owners around the district.
Mr Mbalakata said a committee of the council has been formed to spearhead the negotiations of land repossession with farm owners.
“Although Choma Municipal Council is facing a serious land deficit, the local authority will ensure that land for government infrastructure is allocated for various government departments,” he said.
And speaking earlier, Choma Mayor, Jackson Makwamba, called on the council management to quickly demolish houses built on illegally allocated land in Kamunza Township.
Mr Makwamba wondered why the council management has failed to implement the full council resolution to demolish the illegal settlements and reallocate land for development purposes.
He said the demolition of the illegal Kamunza settlement will help the council address the issue of inadequate land for expansion of the provincial capital.
And commenting on the matter, the Town Clerk said the council management would soon demolish the illegal settlement once Zambia Police responds to the request for security.
Mr Mambalakata said the local authority management cannot carry out the demolition exercise without security from the police as the affected individuals might react.
Over 100 houses built on illegally acquired plots in Choma’s Kamunza township are earmarked for demolition to pave way for legal allocation of land by Choma Municipal Council.