Wednesday, November 29, 2006

West Mvuvye National Forest No. 54 Illegal Alienation

The Chairman of the Luembe Community Resource Board reports that Messrs Tom Younger and Andrew Baldry visited Snr Chief Luembe again recently in order to obtain more land, and were unsuccessful. It appears that the pair have obtained a renewable 99 year statutory lease on that portion of the National Forest which formerly was Luembe customary land. In order for National Forest to be sold, it needs to be de-gazetted with Parliament's approval. This has not been done. Apparently the local community have received a 20% share in the scheme - through an Association. This illegal alienation, as well as the illegal alienation of that part of the National Forest formerly part of the Chief Mwape customary area has been reported to the Commission for Investigations, to the National Movement Against Corruption (NAMAC) and shortly as a petition to Parliament by the Chairman of the CRB and by the Headman's Association of Luembe. The Luembe Conservancy Trust, which applied for a Joint Forest Management Agreement with the Forestry Department in order to develop a participatory conservationa and development scheme two years ago, has to date received no reply to its application, clearly now having been overtaken by current events. Despite numerous contacts with Foresty - particularly its regional representative, Bwalya Chendaoke, they appear to be taking no action.

Senior Chief Luembe is now the subject of an application for an Interim Injunction in the High Court for Zambia under the Chiefs Act (Cap 287 of the Laws of Zambia) restraining the respondent Francis Kalunga Njobvu from acting as Chief Luembe. the plaintiff is Devallias Phiri Besa. Recently the head of the Yendwa clan, Senior Chief Mboroma visited Luembe and travelled to Mwape for a meeting of the Nyendwa chiefs to discuss the issue.

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