Zambia Land Alliance (ZLA) congratulates the Kapijimpanga Royal Establishment in Chief Kapijimpanga's area of Solwezi district of North-western province for being vigilant on the activities of people that have been selling traditional land for personal gain.
In a statement released, in Lusaka, ZLA National Co-ordinator Henry Machina said many rural people have lost their land to people that have seen an opportunity to make quick money out of the precious land resource.
Machina was reacting to media report, which stated that Chief Kapijimpanga's Royal Establishment ordered the arrest of four men for allegedly distributing land illegally in their area where they have been masquerading as Solwezi Municipal Council officers.
He said the majority of poor people in Zambia, especially those living in villages near towns, are vulnerable on their land because of the activities of such unscrupulous people.
Machina said for local people, land was the most important resource for their livelihood in that they depended on it for shelter, food production, collection of firewood and medicines and grazing their animals.
"Despite land being the most important resource in Zambia's development most people were not aware of their land rights and procedures for acquiring or securing their land," said Machina. "As such they have been victims of those who use their power and influence to sell traditional land to enrich themselves and in the process displace the poor."
In addition, he called on the government to quicken the decentralization process in order to give more legal strength to local communities to protect their land while they use it more productively.
Machina also asks community members in other parts of the country to learn from the Kapijimpanga Royal Establishment in protecting their land.
ZLA, is a network of civil society organisations working with rural and urban poor communities to ensure that land policies, laws and land administration procedures take their interests into account.