Veteran politician Mbita Chitala has proposed that Government of the Republic of Zambia must introduce laws that will compel all foreigners currently owning land to surrender the land to the state.
Dr Chitala has also suggested that government should also make it a criminal offence for any foreigner to own land in Zambia.
He said government should also criminally prosecute any Zambian that facilitates the ownership of land in Zambia by any foreigner.
Dr Chitala said the move by the MMD government to enact the 1995 Lands Act 1995 which allowed foreigners to hold title to the land was an unpardonable commission.
He said this has resulted in many foreigners acquiring land at the expense of Zambians.
Dr Chitala who was part of the first Chiluba administration said this in a statement released on his Facebook page.
He regretted that large tracks of land in Zambia are now owned by foreigners.
“It is my submission that this foolish conduct by our governments must come to an end. Many Zambian patriots are arguing that the provisions in our laws that allow for this reactionary conduct must be immediately repealed,” Dr Chitala said.
“This issue of our governments since 1991 of being complicit in auctioning our land to foreigners must be stopped. Before the colonisation of Zambia, Africans owned all land.
The British signed fake agreements which robbed Africans of their land. The last concession was in 1909 which gave all land and mineral rights to a private company called BSA company,” he said.
“In the Kombe case of 1926, a British court ruled that all the land in Northern Rhodes/Barotseland was owned by the British crown. In 1924, the British took over the administration of Zambia to be and promulgated some pseudo law to protect Africans from removal from assigned land. In 1928, the British established reserves for Africans and crown lands for European settlement – some apartheid and racism.”
He added, “In 1947, the British promulgated a law to allow Africans to hold land in native trust lands only. In 1959, they enacted a law to remove the African people in Gwembe area arising from the construction of the Kariba dam and in 1964, they promulgated the Barotseland Agreement to create the new nation of Zambia. After independence in 1964, all land in Zambia was vested in the State President.”
“From 1968, the progressive UNIP administration enacted the Land Acquisition Act which allowed the new Zambian state to acquire land from absentee landlords and address the dangers of foolish commercialisation of land. In 1975, the government enacted the Land (Conversion of Titles) Act which among others, abolished freehold tenure,” he stated.
“In 1985, the government again correctly enacted an amendment to the Land (conversion of titles) Act which amendment disqualified non-Zambians from acquiring land in our country. This however was abused by the retention of a provision that allowed the President to alienate land to any foreigner.”
“Let us learn from the nationalism of the pioneers of our independence and stop the auction of our land for pieces of silver to foreigners,” he cautioned.
“It is crooked Zambians that have facilitated the ownership of all land to foreigners on Kafue road etc. and our governments are complicit in facilitating this robbery of our land.”