800 Zambians Displaced from Farmland in Ndola
800 Zambians have been displaced from the land they have lived and farmer for over 26 years. PF for MP Bwana Mkubwa, Dr Jonas Chanda, yesterday addressed the families and said that this was an example of why the PF want to introduce a National Land Policy.
A spokesperson for the families has aid that the land in Ndola was a State Farm under the Dairy Produce Board under the UNIP government. When the MMF came to power in the 1990s this board collapsed under the privatisation program and former DPB Farm Manager Mr Mutambo was given 300 of the 3,000 hectares. Many of the workers families continued to live on the land during this time.
However Mr Mutambo sold the land to a South African company – Golden Lay, who farm chicken eggs. Despite only owning 300 hectares, Mr Mutambo was in fact able to sell the deed to the full 3,000 hectares.
Golden Lay as new owners of the property asked the families to leave the land. Only 47 former farm workers were compensated with 200 hectares of land while the rest are still stranded. The matter has been in court several times, with the last ruling being in favour of Golden Lay Company.
In response, Dr Chanda says displacement of Zambians without compensation or alternative land is a MORAL issue, not a LEGAL issue, as Zambians can NOT be displaced like animals in their own country to accommodate a foreign investor. He says it is totally unacceptable that 800 plus Zambians are now landless in their own country when Zambia has plenty of land of 752,618 square kilometres, the 39th largest country in the world in terms of land mass with a relatively small population of about 15 million people.
He has promised the affected families that he is taking up the matter urgently with Minister of Lands Hon Jean Kapata and other Land management bodies in Lusaka as well as tabling it in Parliament until JUSTICE is done. He says there should be no displacement from land without compensation or alternative land, and condemned sale of huge tracts of land to foreigners by some unpatriotic Zambians at the expense of fellow Zambians.