—The Choma Municipal Council planned demolishing of illegal structures in Chandamali area has taken a new twist with the former ruling party, UNIP, blaming the opposition UPND for failing to swallow their pride and urged the opposition to work with the PF government to solve the problem.
In an interview, UNIP Southern Province Youth Chairperson, Rodwell Nzolo, noted that the UPND enjoys much monopoly in the province, hence the need for it to seek audience with government over the council‘s planned cause of action.
“Choma council is dominated by UPND and if the opposition can work with the current government, such things cannot happen. Now people are just going to suffer because of selfishness of us politicians who cannot reason together to help them,” he said.
Mr Nzolo said the opposition UPND has no option but to seek government‘s intervention on the matter if an amicable solution is to be found.
He said people of Chandamali deserve protection from all meaningful citizens in Choma district stating that the current problem facing the compound was caused by the local authority.
Mr Nzolo pointed out that instead of demolishing the buildings, the council should find better ways of addressing the challenge of illegal structures.
He said the council allowed the situation to worsen for a long time, hence the need for them to help people to do the right thing without reaching the extent of destroying their houses.
Mr Nzolo said it is unfortunate that the local authority was basing the planned demolishing of houses in Chandamali compound on the relocation of the provincial headquarters from Livingstone to Choma when the locals needed to benefit.
The UNIP youth chairperson further called for a strong political will from both the ruling party and the opposition UPND to help prevent the demolishing exercise from taking place, stating that the impact will be massive to contain.
“The council should consult different stakeholders before doing that because this issue concerns lives of people and these same people have lived for a long time in that compound. Destroying their houses today is not a solution,” Mr Nzolo said.
But Choma Municipal Council Assistant Public Relations Officer, Robert Zawe, said the local authority is not fighting people but merely executing its duty to bring sanity in the district.
Mr Zawe said people should not perceive the council as their enemy but their friend interested in safeguarding their properties by ensuring that they have the right documents.
“As council we want to know the extent of the damage or illegality in Chandamali. That is why we are calling these people to bring their documents so that we see how possible we can help them,” Mr Zawe said.