By ANNIE ZULU
UNITED Party for National Development (UPND) Monze Central Member of Parliament, Jack Mwiimbu, is among the people who have plots in Lusaka East Local Forest Reserve number 27, Chief Government Spokesperson Dora Siliya has disclosed.
Ms Siliya said it was wrong for people to accuse the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) of allocating the Forest Reserve land among its officials. She said there were all kinds of Zambian citizens who owned land in the area, as opposed to the falsehoods being spread that the land belonged to the PF.
Former Tourism Minister, William Harrington, has accused Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Jean Kapata, and other senior Government officials of allocating themselves agricultural land and other plots in the forest reserve.
Ms Siliya however, mentioned UPND Monze Central MP Jack Mwiimbu, who is also leader of the opposition, as one of the people who owned land in the Forest Reserve number 27.
“If you go to Ministry of Lands offices and check the list of people who own land in the forest reserve, you will find that there are all kinds of citizens who have been given land there, it’s not a PF issue as I heard some people trying to say. You will be amazed at how many people were given land. We are a Government for all people, in fact even leaders of the opposition, Honourable Jack Mwiimbu has land there,” Ms Siliya said.
Ms Siliya also clarified that the land in the forest reserve was legally allocated, as everyone who owed land there had applied for it through the Commissioner of Land.
“People keep saying the land was not advertised, but the law gives power to the commissioner of lands to allocate land based on how he sees it fit and does not need to advertise it, so no law has been broken,” she said.
Ms Siliya indicated that Government has the responsibility to add value to land and also avail land for development. She said it was Government’s desire to ensure that all Zambians who have applied for land were given land.
“The country’s population was increasing and so is the demand for land, we want Zambians to own land,” she said.