LUSAKA – The Zambian government has proposed to ban the ownership of land by foreigners. The government is also seeking to review existing long term leases and the land in question cannot be disposed of, sold or exchanged without prior consultation with and approval by the government.
In its draft policy unveiled by Lands Minister Jean Kapata, the government hopes to regulate access to land by non-Zambians.
The state wants to restrict ownership of land, both state and customary to Zambians only.
If the policy is adopted, it will only provide for sub-leasing and or renting of land only by non Zambians.
This is the first comprehensive land policy framework since Zambia’s independence.
To date, land policy was in form of Ministerial Statements in Parliament, Presidential pronouncements and the Administrative Circular No 1, 1985 that has guided the system of land allocation and the Lands Act of 1995, the principle land legislation.
This national land policy primarily seeks to promote equitable access to land to all the people of Zambia on state and customary land, for both poor and the wealthy and irrespective of gender.
According to the draft policy, Zambia will replace all leases for 14 and 30 year term with 99 year renewable Leasehold Titles subject to meeting terms and conditions in the lease agreement and the relevant legislation for Zambian citizens only.
The policy will also provide for lease period for investment projects which shall be tied to the period of the licenses and concessions for the planned developments, but shall not exceed 25 years, and shall be renewable subject to terms and conditions set in the license, concession and lease agreement.
The draft policy also seeks to introduce and implement stringent change of land use conditions for both Zambian and non-Zambian owned companies to curb the proliferation of unfinished investment projects, land hoarding and land speculation as well as the indiscriminate disposal of land for profit.