Fisheries and Livestock Minister NKANDU LUO says she will repossess all land that has been encroached at the fisheries premises in Chilanga.
Professor LUO says it is shocking that land meant for the development of the fisheries sector in the country has been turned into private residential property without regard of the law.
She says her ministry will get to the bottom of what she termed as ‘illegal possession’ and ensure the land is handed back for the purpose it was intended for.
Professor LUO says she will immediately engage the ministry of lands to reverse the allocation of residential plots on lands meant for fish ponds.
‘As a government we have prioritised fisheries as a sector for the economic growth of the country and we therefore cannot allow a situation where facilities for fisheries development are being encroached’ Luo bemoaned.
Professor Luo was speaking in Chilanga when she and her works and supply counterpart SYLVIA CHALIKOSA visited the department of fisheries offices to take stock of the facilities belonging to her ministry.
She says under the Zambia Aquaculture Enterprise Development Project (ZAEDP), money has been set aside to build capacity at Chilanga which is the headquarters of the fisheries department.
‘We are sitting on 50.8 million dollars for the development of aquaculture in the country, how do we build capacity and facilities that will boost fish production if fish ponds and office space for research have turned into residential plots’ She wondered.
Professor Luo says because of the encroachment, the source of the water to the fish ponds has been affected resulting in most of the ponds drying while other ponds are surrounded by mansions.
‘look all around here, if you do not see houses or roads in the ponds, all you can see are beacons where we are supposed to be conducting research and breeding of fish’ Luo observed.
Meanwhile works and supply minister SYLVIA CHALIKOSA says officers charged to look after public assets need to be more responsible with state property.
Ms. CHALIKOSA says there is a lot of neglect of public property that is going to cost government a lot of money to correct.
She disclosed that her ministry is currently taking stock of all public property for them to come up with a national policy of government assets.
Ms. CHALIKOSHA urged government ministries and departments to engage each other on matters relating to state property.
‘what we seeing is a diversion of a national vision we want to achieve as government, instead of all of us supporting the growth of fisheries sector that has great potential for wealth creation, we are busy destroying the productive assets’ Chalikosa said