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Zambia (2015)

The Lands Acquisition Act of 1994

The Agriculture Lands Acts of 1994

The Town and Country Planning Act 1995

The Housing (Statutory and Improvement Areas Act 1974

The Arbitration Act No19 of 2000

Article 16 of the 4th Republican Constitution of Zambia 1996


The following legislation governs the acquisition of private land:

  • The Fourth Republican Constitution of 1996: Recognises the right to private property and to protection by the State of property or land

  • The Land Acquisition Act of 1994: The Act sets out regulations for compulsory acquisition of land and property and compensation for such acquisition. Compensation for acquired property, losses and damages shall be paid as may be agreed or finally determined by this Act. 

  • The Agriculture Lands Acts of 1994: Section 40 of the Act requires adequate compensation for loss of assets on the surface of the land due to other intended uses. 

  • The Arbitration Act no 19 of 2000: provides for the undertaking and appointment of arbitrators when two parties to land/property are not agreeable to sums of compensation for relocation, loss or involuntary resettlement

  • The town and Country Planning Act 1995: provides for the preparation, approval and revocation of land development plans. It also regulates and controls spatial development and subdivision of private or state land. 

  • The Environmental Management Act no 12 of 2011: Provides for the identification and mitigation of project related socio-economic impacts on affected people through public consultations and disclosure meetings

  • Land Conversion of Title Act of 1995: This Act provides for the alienation, transfer, disposition, and change of use of land. The Act also provides for compulsory acquisition of land by the president wherever he is of the opinion that it is desirable or expedient to do so in the public’s interest. 


Comparison of Zambian Government and IFC Policy on Resettlement

The Zambian and IFC Performance Standards on Resettlement have similar objectives to restore and improve the living standards of people affected by developmental projects through involuntary resettlement. The two policies however have differences as outlined below:

  1. In determining the cost of compensation, the IFC PS 5 cost estimate is given as the new replacement value of property being lost whereas in the case of Zambian legislation, it is the value the property can fetch at an open market if it is to be sold to a willing buyer.

  2. The emphasis of IFC PS 5 is on restoration or maintenance of previous livelihood levels whereas the Zambian Government responsibility ends at replacing the depreciated value of the lost asset

  3. The IFC PS 5, unlike the Zambian Legislation, recognizes informal occupancy as a form of customary tenure. Squatters are therefore entitled to compensation if they can establish informal occupancy before the project cut-off-date.

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