Eastern Province Lands Officer, Masheta Muzumari has been suspended from his position for renewing the lease for farm number 8990 belonging to Zed Daya.
Eastern Province Deputy Permanent Secretary, Patrick Mwanawasa confirmed this to Breeze that Mr. Mzumari has been suspended to pave way for investigations into the matter.
Mr. Mwanwasa says that farm number 8990, situated in Chief Chinyaku’s area off Chadiza road was lying idle for some time and the then former President Rupiah Banda had issued a directive that the land be repossessed when he was still in power.
He says that the process of repossessing the land was still going on until the time of President Michael Sata’s reign.
Mr. Mwanawasa further explained that the land in question had its lease renewed by the provincial lands officer, at the time that Dr. Guy Scott was acting President.
Mr. Mwanawasa says now that President Lungu is undertaking a Presidential Milling initiative under the Zambia National Service, he decided that the repossession process for farm number 8990 continue so that the land can be used for other developmental projects.
He said it was at this time that government discovered that Eastern Dairy Limited under the proprietor, Zed Daya had renewed its lease the time the country had a funeral for President Sata.
Mr. Mwanawasa says that government suspects that the renewal of the land lease was marred with some illegal practices because there was no President at the time the lease was renewed and that the provincial Lands Officer, was aware that government wanted to reposes the land.