HIGHVIE Hamududu says the government is sleeping on duty in all of Zambia’s towns, no wonder other citizens cannot own plots and farm lands.
In an interview, Hamududu, the opposition Party of National Unity and Progress (PNUP), said it was a scandal that there was this artificial shortage of plots for those that want to build.
He explained that in a normal situation where there is a proper, functioning government, every Zambian worker and anyone else who earns an income should be able to own a titled plot.
“This issue must become an issue of a right, that every Zambian who has basic income should build. I am talking of basic income; it is not about of having a K100, 000. You can build a house from K50, 000,” Hamududu, an economist by profession, explained.
“Any person who earns as low as K3, 000 can afford to build a house overtime. [But] the million dollar question is why are we in such a situation where the prices of plots are inaccessible, including farm land for people to own real estate?”
He said the government should facilitate for young citizens to build and expand the country’s towns and cities.
Hamududu added that if the government could partner with people with huge hectares of land, land acquisition for ordinary people could become a possibility.
“But today government is sleeping on duty in all towns. There is no plan to increase the boundaries of those towns through a government vehicle with a private sector and the farmer at the centre,” Hamududu said.
“These plots can be affordable for every Zambian. We must reach a point where when a Zambian child obtains a national registration card, it is possible to obtain a plot.”
He complained that because of lack of government facilitation, there were people in towns who individually owned over-sized plots.
Hamududu tied that to the government’s lack of a clear policy on fair land distribution.
“I have heard a minister saying that in this country, Lusaka has run out of land to build houses. That is a mockery! It is not true,” Hamududu disagreed.
“Why? Government can never fail to create opportunities for people to access land to build. This is how it can be done; a government should budget every year to acquire farm land around Lusaka for the city to breath.”
He briefly talked about the history of Lusaka.
“[This] was a farming area. The founding father of Lusaka, Marapodi, was a farmer before it (Lusaka) was declared a capital,” he explained.
Hamududu further said it was farming areas which eventually turn out to be urban centres, through construction-related developments.
“Where you see ZNBC sitting there that was a sugar plantation. That is why you see it is a damp as you go to Arcades,” Hamududu said.
“These were farms and eventually they were changing use from farm to urban development. [But] somehow somewhere the preceding governments stopped the Lusaka urban development.”
He said now, the government should have talked to Galaunia farms in Lusaka and buy off some hectares of land, to pave way for Lusaka urban development.
“The government should have talked to Miller and other farmers around Lusaka. Through a win-win arrangement, government can budget for land acquisition for urban development,” suggested Hamududu.
“It is not only Lusaka; even my home town, Monze.”
©Kalemba January 29, 2021