Government says it will only give 1,000 hectares of land to Jan Wessy Jacob Boatha, an investor who was allegedly given 20,000 hectares of land by Chief Kaindu of Mumbwa district in Central province for the purpose of game ranching.
And Chief Kaindu has denied receiving K50 Million down payment from the K500 Million cost of the land that extends across Kafue river allegedly sold to Mr Boatha.
Central Province Permanent Secretary Edwin ZUMBUNU told ZANIS in Kabwe yesterday that government could not give a huge chunk of land amounting to 20,000 hectares to one person because this was too much.
Mr Zumbunu said out of the 20,00 hectares the investor required, only 1,000 hectares will be offered to him while 19, 000 hectares will be given back to the people in the area so that they could continue with their life set up.
He further explained that after consultations and verifications, part of the land would be given back to the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) to also continue managing wild life.
Mr Zumbunu pointed out that 1, 000ha would be big enough for Mr Boatha to keep wild animals and allow the other part be used by the local people for cultivation and other activities.
And Chief Kaindu said it was not true that he was given K50 Million by Mr Boatha as down payment from the alleged K500 Million cost of the 20,000ha of land.
Chief Kaindu told ZANIS that the matter was exaggerated by a Ward Councilor in his chiefdom who allegedly instigated villagers to protest and petition government through the then Mumbwa District Commissioner Lemmy Chibuye.
Chief Kaindu who was accompanied by Mumbwa District Commissioner Sunday Shamabanse, accused the named Ward Councilor of trying to cause confusion by making unsubstantiated allegations.
He said Mr Boatha was in fact just interested in working with the Mpusu community by providing funds for developmental community based projects which would ease people lives in the chiefdom.
“Boatha want to assist with funds for development in my area which he would deposit in a development account. This money would not be given to me, I will not even see this money because it will go straight into an account to which I will be a signatory,’ Explained Chief Kaindu.
But in November last year, Mpusu villagers complained to government that Chief Kaindu was allegedly selling land without consulting his subjects.
The villagers were concerned because the size of the land in question which they said extended across Kafue river and included part of the game management area.