Nation Democratic Party (NDP) leader Martin Lukato says his party will consult traditional leaders and other stakeholders in the Zambezi Region on how land could be distributed in the region.
Lukato made the remarks last Thursday during the launch of his party’s Land Reform Policy Paper in Katima Mulilo. He is of the opinion “the current Land Act of 1992 should be amended and abolished in order to more empower our respected traditional leaders.”
Lukato believes that empowering traditional leaders to regulate land matters without interference from the government would bring an end to land disputes.
He says traditional leaders are well respected by their subjects, which will make land distribution easier.
“All the registration of land and all land matters should be invested in the traditional authorities, the traditional leaders and their subjects, as their own land,” he stated.
Lukato condemned the demolishing earlier this month by the Katima Mulilo Town Council of illegal structures constructed within town land – which precipitated a firestorm of protest.
He says residents sacrificed a lot to own residential plots in town.
“The harsh and cruel action taken by the Katima Mulilo Town Council is the mental fiscal torture, maltreatment, damage to properties, disrespect to the residents … and violation of both regional, national and international fundamental human rights,” he said.
He further demanded that the Katima Mulilo Town Council “start engaging all beneficiaries, those who lost their properties … to be listed and compensate them without delaying to heal the pain and the damage they have suffered in the hands of the Babylon regime.”
Lukato called on government “through the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development to urgently allocate a budget for the establishment of the resettlement centres to accommodate those residents” whose shacks and houses were bulldozed by the town council.