A number of senior Council Officers and Counsellors have been named in a cases of illegal land allocation in Kitwe on the Copperbelt.
During the Adhoc Committee investigating cases of illegal allocation of land in Kitwe which commenced sittings yesterday, names of the Officers and Councilors at the City Council came out prominently as perpetrators of illegal land allocation.
Several members of the public who appeared before the committee, claimed to have acquired land through named council staff members and Councilors who work with private land agents.
The complainant submitted that they have paid money for the land to the Councilors and Council officers but have not been given documents to support their land acquisition.
Making a submission before the committee, one of the Leaders of the Luyando Community, Howard Mwema explained that his members are in need of offer letters for their plots.
Mr Mwema said the Luyando Community Association had identified a piece of land in Mindolo-North, which is believed to be idle and applied to the Ministry of Lands for the same portion of land.
The failure by the Ministry of Land to give them plots after paying led to the association going on the ground to demarcate the plots to its members.
“We followed all the procedures when acquiring the land, we went to the Ministry of Lands and we have been here at the council,” he said.
The association leaders have been allocating land illegally to its members in Mindolo-North, which led to the demolition of structures by the council and Mopani, the owners of the land in question.
Meanwhile Copperbelt Commissioner of Police Charity Katanga, who is part of the committee reminded Mr Mwema that this is the third time that structures are being demolished in the area because the piece of land belonged a private developer.
Mrs Katanga said the law enforcement officers demolished structures belonging to members of the association first in 2014 and then later this year.
She however, said there is need for the Ministry of Land to communicate to the associations or individuals that apply for land on the status of the particular piece of land.
But Copperbelt Region Chief Lands Commissioner Harry Shamende said communication was made to the association on the status of the land in Mindolo- North, where structures were recently demolished.
Mr Shamende said the members of the association had actually built houses on land belonging to Mopani Copper Mines.
Kitwe Town Clerk Seke Mbulo also confirmed that the association was informed about the status of the land but that they went ahead to build the houses.
And Adhoc Committee Chairperson Adam Jere warned the leaders of the association to stop collecting money from members on the pretext that they have land to offer.
Mr Jere said should the association leaders continue collecting money from members, the land administrators will ensure that they are punished.
He also asked the leaders to always inform their members whenever they receive communication from the local authority.
He further told the association that the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU), the council and the District Commissioner’s office have identified a piece land where the members of Luyando community will be relocated.
The Kitwe City Council was recently suspended due to suspected cases of illegal land allocation.
Source: Lusaka Times