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Government of Zambia: draft land policy

Ministry of Lands


October 2002

Comments on this draft can be sent to: Henry Machina, Zambia Land Alliance,
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Executive Summary

The main emphasis of this Land Policy is to address the problems associated with the land delivery system in Zambia in order to ensure equitable access to land resources and promote national development. The Policy document is presented as follows:-

Chapter One is the introduction, which justifies the need for a revised Land Policy. The Government has taken measures towards ensuring that the people of Zambia are given equal access to land and provide an enabling environment for its utilisation.

Chapter Two shows the historical perspective to land tenure, both before and after independence. It would not be easy to appreciate what is happening today without an insight of the current system of land administration inherited and developed from the past. In the pre-independence era the focus was oriented towards the white settler population. The indigenous people were left to develop on their own. In this way fertile land was identified and granted to the white settlers, later designated as Crown Land. The indigenous people were confined to separate areas, which were designated as Reserve Lands and Trust Lands in which Customary Tenure systems applied.

At independence some white settlers objected to a new Government dominated by the indigenous people and consequently left the country but retained ownership of their land. The challenge of the Government was to release such land for development. This necessitated the enactment of laws such as the Land Conversion of Titles Act - Chapter 289 of the 1972 edition of the Laws of Zambia.

Chapter Three deals with the Situation Analysis and asserts the need for this Policy. Chapter Four outlines the objectives of this Policy.

Chapter Five focuses on the Institutional Framework and posits the fact that land is a multi-disciplinary asset hence the need for all the stakeholders to participate in its planning, administration and in monitoring its use, to ensure sustainable development for the benefit of all parties concerned.

The Government recognised the fact that for the objectives to be achieved funds should be made available to support the implementation of the programme. This will entail financial support particularly to ensure that the implementation of programmes arising out of this Policy are successful. In this regard, this Policy is intended to make it easier for the present and future generations of Zambia to continue enjoying the benefits of holding land either under statutory or customary tenure.

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