Mikango illegal land allocation faces reversal

THE allocation of land at Mikango Barracks’ training range to cadres and some senior government officers will be reversed if it is established that the developers were allocated the land irregularly, Ministry of Lands permanent secretary Inutu Suba has said

She has explained that the allocation of the land at Mikango Barracks could have been caused by lack of consultation within the ministries of Lands and Defence.

“We do sometimes have overlaps as government, it could be possible that our surveyors could actually go over a restricted radius due to lack of adequate consultation with the sister ministry.

“But there is no much ado there, that can be corrected and we will do that, if it becomes necessary. We will re-plan the area. For example, if I am given a plot in Mikango, and it goes inside a restricted radius, then there will be re-planning,” Ms Suba said.

She told the Daily Nation that her ministry offered land to several people across the country and that there were few ministers, if any, allocated land in Mikango.

“So we should not raise eyebrows just because a minister has been given land. If it would be found that my ministry did allocate any land in Mikango by error or within restricted radius of the firing range, there are things which we do administratively.

“We are going to liaise with our sister ministries and make sure that everybody is comfortable with what is being done by my ministry in Mikango,” Ms Suba said.

She said if it would be found that the land was irregularly allocated in restricted areas, then the occupants of the land would be relocated, demarcations reviewed and surveys re-done.

Ms Suba said people who were allocated land in Mikango were only those who had applied for land and that political cadres who attempted to invade military land were stopped.

She said there was nothing wrong for ministers to acquire land if they applied through the Ministry of Land.

Ms Suba emphasized that ministers were entitled to own land just like any other citizens saying taking away their entitlement because of their positions would be unfair.

“There is one thing that we should remember here which is ministers are also Zambians who are entitled to land ownership. So it doesn’t mean that when a minister is given land then that allocation is irregular,” she said.

Ms Suba said government was allergic to corruption and indiscipline in the administration of land and that a task force had been established to deal with illegal land allocations and land invasions.

She warned that political party cadres who would want to encroach on other people’s land would be dealt with.

“Unlawful action will not be tolerated and also indiscipline will be met by destruction of houses. I would like to warn members of the public to ensure that there is total compliance to the law,” Ms Suba said.

She said the Ministry of Lands was coordinating very well with the traditional leadership in the area.

Two weeks ago, the Daily Nation reported that a large piece of land meant for the Zambia Army rifle range in Chongwe had been invaded by senior Government and Patriotic Front officials.

The senior government officials and PF cadres have demarcated the land offered to Mikango Barracks as training grounds in Njolwe village.