CUSTOMARY LAND GOVERNANCE IN ZAMBIA: INERTIA, CONFUSION AND CORRUPTION
EPHRAIM KABUNDA MUNSHIFWA from the Department of Real Estate Studies, School of the Built Environment at the Copperbelt University, Zambia prepared a for presentation at the “2018 WORLD BANK CONFERENCE ON LAND AND POVERTY” The World Bank – Washington DC, March 19-23, 2018 Copyright 2018 by author(s). All rights reserved. Readers may make verbatim copies of this document for non-commercial purposes by any means, provided that this copyright notice appears on all such copies.
Abstract: The need for a “good” governance structure on customary land in Zambia is now more urgent than ever before. High demand by multinationals, local investors, urban elites, local bureaucrats and politicians, is putting pressure on customary land to reform or commercialize. And yet the State has opted to “move more slowly” on reforms affecting customary land. With limited administrative mechanisms at the hands of traditional leaders, taken as custodians of customary land, the results have been confusion and corruption in the governance of this land.
This paper argues that this inertia to reform has a long history, starting from pre-independence at the time reserves for indigenous communities were established in 1928, into the current debate on the National Land Policy. Constant squabbles between the State and traditional leaders on which way reforms should take have also contributed to this quandary