Zambia to computerise land admin

By Edith Mwale, Lusaka, Zambia

The Zambian government has disclosed that it will next month introduce a computerised land administration system that will help capture data and avoid corruption in land allocation.

Once the computerised system to capture data has been installed, the ministry will then embark on a countrywide land audit.

Lands Minister Wilbur Simuusa believes that having an electronic system will help in storing information in a more secure manner.

Simuusa has also observed that there are a lot of weaknesses in the land policy and laws that govern the administration of land in the country.

“The ministry will therefore begin to review the Land Act and strengthen it to ensure that it begins to serve the interests of the Zambians,” Simuusa said.

Simuusa observed that there is need for harmonising of the laws which govern customary and state land.

Last week, Zambian President Michael Sata bemoaned the high levels of corruption in the country's land administration system.

Sata said there was need for the laws which state that Zambians need to be given priority when it comes to land allocation, as opposed to the current situation where most of the land gazetted as markets has been taken up by foreigners.

However, the Zambian government is hoping that once the electronic system is in place, it would be easy for the government to track down foreigners who may have applied for land, which is meant for Zambians. The system will do away with paperwork that is usually tempered with and manipulated by Ministry of Lands officials.

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