Ukwangali chief urges subjects to stop land sales

MAYARA; Ukwangali Chief Eugene Siwombe has called on his subjects to stop land grabbing and illegal land sales in the Ukwangali area.

Siwombe, who took over the Ukwangali Traditional Authority (UTA) throne recently, said no one is allowed to sell land or exchange it for something else as that is tantamount to corruption.

Speaking during an interview with Nampa on Wednesday, the Ukwangali leader also cautioned those who are sub-leasing their farms without the knowledge of the traditional authority to stop such practices forthwith, and rather follow the procedures of the traditional authority to avoid possible future conflict.

Siwombe noted that those who have been allocated pieces of land or farms should surrender such areas to the traditional authority should they decide to give up farming or relocate elsewhere.

The Ukwangali leader’s remarks come at a time when the traditional authority is about to release a report into alleged land-grabbing and illegal land sales in the Ukwangali area.

“We are trying to find a suitable date with the independent investigators when we will publicly release the report,” said the chief.

The UTA instituted an independent investigation into dubious land grabbing and sale activities late last year.

The first phase of the investigations was conducted early in October last year by a seven-member committee, while the second round was scheduled to be conducted in November last year but was put on hold because there were issues which arose from the first investigation.

The probe was necessitated by complaints from inhabitants of the area, who on several occasions expressed dissatisfaction to the traditional authority about land-grabbing and selling malpractices by some residents, including prominent residents as well as Council members.

Claims are that they sold land to businesspeople and foreigners.

The area where the most land was ‘grabbed’ and sold is the Katwitwi area, which is strategically located along the border with Angola, and is an area said to have enormous business potential.