4,000 Kaniki illegal settlers in limbo
Ndola, June 11, 2013, ZANIS – Government has called for calm among the over 4,000 people who have illegally settled in the Mwekera forestry area of Kaniki in Ndola not to panic.
The government has assured the illegal settlers that it is looking for alternative land where to relocate them.
Deputy minister of chiefs and traditional affairs Susan Kawandami who is also Chifubu Member of Parliament told the illegal settlers during a meeting held yesterday in Kaniki to be patient as government was still working on the process of relocating them.
Ms Kawandami explained to the illegal settlers that governments the world over have rules which governed the people hence the need for them to wait until a decision is made over the issue.
Ms Kawandami said government had an obligation to provide infrastructure and services such as schools, clinics, roads, clean drinking water and other necessities for the people which was not the case for them as they were illegal settlers in the Kaniki forestry area.
She explained to the illegal settlers that no one had given them land which they were claiming to own and that there were no proper demarcations to determine which plot belonged to who as the land in question belonged to the Ministry of Arts and Tourism which was handling the issue.
The illegal settlers wanted to know if the area MP had gone to relocate them elsewhere and to know whether they should cultivate their fields or not.
The illegal settlers also complained that they did not have schools, clinics and cooperatives in order for them to benefit from the farming inputs that government was offering saying they have to go to Sakanya for them to access such facilities.
The illegal settlers said the water that they are subjected to drink is not good for human consumption because it is shared with animals as they had no boreholes in the area.
In response , Ms Kawandami said she could not tell them to go ahead and cultivate or not because no one gave them authority to settle on the in question.
About 4000 people have illegally settled in Mwekera forestry area in Kaniki a catchment area of about 28 000 hectares.