By NATION REPORTER
OVER 400 ex-miners have received offer letters for 5 hectares of land each as promised by President Edgar Lungu after losing their jobs on the Copperbelt.
The elated former miners received their offer letters on Monday from the Kitwe City Council said they were indebted to President Lungu for fulfilling his promise to give them land to settle after being forced out of employment.
Kitwe mayor Christopher Kang’ombe, who witnessed the handover said the acquisition of by the first group of 425 ex-miners was a dream come true for beneficiaries who had been waiting for the momentous occasion.
Mr Kang’ombe said more ex-miners would soon get their land adding that their offer letters were only awaiting signatures for from the Ministry of Lands.
“I was privileged yesterday (on Monday) at the Kitwe civic centre to witness the official handover of individual letters for 5 hectare farms for the first group of over 425 ex- miners. Copperbelt Permanent Secretary Bright Nundwe, Kitwe District Commissioner Binwell Mpundu and I were on hand to officiate at the event.
“As we interacted with the men and women who once worked for the different mining companies, we noted their appreciation to the Republican President, His Excellency Mr. Edgar Lungu for fulfilling the promise made. Phase two of the letters will be issued once signed off by Ministry of lands,” Mr. Kang’ombe said.
Last month, Government started demarcating 15,000 hectares of land in the Luswishi Farm Block in Lufwanyama district on the Copperbelt for the 1,691 former miners retrenched from the mines in 2015.
The demarcation of the land followed Government’s directive to local authorities to offer pieces of land to the retrenched miners to enable them to engage in agriculture as a way of diversifying the economy.
Of the 15,000 hectares, 8,455 hectares have been allocated to former miners while 1,560 hectares have been reserved for people who have already settled in the area with 440 hectares for service centres and 4,545 for roads.