Do we change the law or traditional culture?

Petauke District Land Alliance in Zambia being Namati’s new partner we will be testing the customary land tenure and forest policy whether it addresses the participation of the community living in these communities areas and whether Zambians culture as any relation to land or is the land that has a relation to land. Do the current laws and policies governing the administration of these stone cast or they can be changed to accommodate the communities to be part of the surface and underneath the soil.

The land under customary tenure has no owner, hence communities feel there strangers in the wildness of their God given bushes which to day there are requested to obtain permission to enter the area. DO WE CHANGE THE LAW OR TRADITIONAL CULTURE in order to have my only life time protected?


Land has always been governed under customary laws and therefore the laws should be changed, not the custom.

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That’s very much Namati’s approach! We advocate for laws and policies that respect customary law and local governance by creating a place for them alongside other national law.

Then, at the community level when recording and adopting local ‘by-laws’ or rules for land management and governance, communities start with their existing customary laws and practices as the foundation, and then facilitate a community process of debate and discussion to decide if there are local laws that need to be updated, added, or dropped - and in that process their draft is checked by a lawyer or judge to make sure the local customary laws don’t contradict national law or human rights principles (if any do, the challenge is discussed with the community and a harmonized solution found).