Lands Minister engages traditional authorities on new Lands Act
Ashanti Regional House of Chiefs holds final meeting for 2021
The overlord of the Asante kingdom, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has kicked against portions of Ghana’s new Lands Act, 2020 (Act 1036) which gives the subjects of chiefs the power to haul the traditional rulers before a court to demand accountability on proceeds from land sales.
At a meeting between the Ashanti Region House of Chiefs and the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, the Asantehene justified his opposition to the said portions stating that his area of jurisdiction had its own measures in dealing with issues of accountability.
“The elders of various chiefs are the people who can call for accountability and that is when I step in. There is accountability in the kingdom but not to any individual,” he said.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II maintained that, “Not all that is printed here (the Act) is applicable to my jurisdiction. I put chiefs and fetish in charge of the lands in the kingdom. The chiefs are not accountable to any youth.”
This is after the sector minister, Samuel Abu Jinapor, led a team from his ministry to further espouse on the contents of the new lands Act to the Ashanti Regional House of Chiefs.
“In the new Act, the chiefs are caretakers on the lands. They hold it in trust. So their subjects can demand accountability even in court. In many areas, chiefs misappropriate income from the sale of land,” the Damongo MP explained.
The Act holds chiefs, clan heads, family heads or any authority in charge of management of stool or skin, clan or family lands accountable as fiduciaries.
As trustees, the “managers” must be transparent, open, fair, and impartial in making decisions that affect the lands they manage.
They are also subject to disciplinary sanctions, if they fail to comply with their trustee duties.
Meanwhile, the Asantehene is advocating for a review of laws regulating mineral resources in the country for purposes of equity in sharing of benefits. Read Full Story