THE Kabwe Municipal Council (KMC) in the early hours of yesterday swung into action demolishing over 20 structures built in Aerodrome area behind ZALCO which has been earmarked for a road.
Some irate residents whose structures were razed down turned the council grounds into a full scale funeral.
The affected families who shifted to the council to seek audience with the Town Clerk Oliver Muuka later forced themselves into the building where they damaged a reception desk which they threw outside.
They also attempted to close the council offices but their action was shortlived after police offices in full riot gear arrived at the scene and ordered them to disperse.
The residents who turned up in large numbers to express their displeasure at the council’s decision to demolish the structures claimed that they had obtained loans to construct houses and wondered how they would pay back describing the council’s action as inhuman.
Police had a tough time to control the crowd, especially women who were wailing while Investrust Bank which is located within the Kabwe Civic Centre had to prematurely close to avoid being caught up in the fracas.
The mob threatened to beat up the council workers and accused the civic authority of ignoring a court order which was restraining them from demolishing their houses.
One unidentified woman who had her house demolished collapsed during the protest at the council and was rushed to hospital for treatment.
Another Grace Ngoma one of the affected residents said she was devastated and could not believe that she had become a destitute with her children.
She said she bought the plot at K5,000 from the old Resident Development Committee (RDC) and appealed to the Government to intervene in the matter.
She claimed that she built the house at the cost of K80, 000 and had gotten a loan from Zanaco which she was yet to settle.
Both Central Province Commissioner of Police Standwell Lungu and assistant council public relations manager Chilufya Mwamba confirmed the incident separately yesterday.
Ms Mwamba warned that the council would continue to demolish the houses that are built on illegal land.
By press time police in riot gear had been deployed in the city.
Times of Zambia