By Ketra Kalunga

HUGE tracks of land have been sold illegally in Chibombo in a syndicate in which unscrupulous people forged the chieftainess’ fingerprint to authenticate transactions.

A comprehensive audit is now being done to determine the extent of the loss.

And people who acquired land from Chieftainess Mungule’s area dubiously have been warned that they will face prosecution following revelations that forged fingerprints of the chief were used to sell land and process titledeeds.

A forensic audit is underway following the unearthing of the scam, Chibombo District Council chairperson James Ntalasha has disclosed.

“We have unearthed a scam concerning land acquisition where people are forging the thumb print of Chieftainess Mungule to process fake documents as title deeds from the chiefdom,” says Mr Ntalasha.

Mr Ntalasha said most of land in Mungule’s chiefdom has been acquired through such dubious means which has since come to the attention of local civic leaders.

Speaking to the Daily Nation in an interview, Mr Ntalasha said to prevent the illegality, the local authority has since made sure that any documents that are processed from Chieftainess Mungule go through forensic study at Zambia Police Service headquarters in Lusaka to certify that the thumbprint on the document was  that of her royal highness.

“We have discovered a scam where people are taking advantage of Chieftainess Mungule by forging her thumb print and process documents as titledeeds from her chiefdom,

“And to prevent this, we have made sure that any documents processed from the chiefdom go through forensic study at police headquarters so that we ensure that the thumbprint is that of the chieftainess,” said Mr Ntalasha.

Mr Ntalasha said the samples of Chieftainess Mungule’s thumbprint have already been taken to  police heardquarters.

He said the process was to ensure that the integrity of Chieftainess Mungule and of land management in the district were protected.

Mr Ntalasha has urged all would-be investors and individuals in particular wanting to acquire land to follow the laid down procedure in land acquisition and to ensure that the document is signed by Chieftainess Mungule.

Mr Ntalasha warned that anyone found wanting would be prosecuted including the one who has acquired land as both would be regarded as criminals.

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