Chinyanja Ward residents cry foul over demolished houses

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Residents of Chinyanja ward in Chilanga district have dispelled reports that they encroached in the 1,200 hectares of land meant for farming activities for the Zambia Police Service.


The residents said the Lusaka Planning Authority, which this week demolished houses for squatters in Chilanga, did not get the truth before taking action.


One of the affected residents John Ngulube argued that people in the area had followed the right procedure to secure the said piece of land.


He therefore accused the council of being wrong to demolish the structures.


Mr. Ngulube told ZANIS in a walk in interview that the people had written to the Ministry of Lands to apply for the land but some senior police officers allegedly hijacked the process and obtained the land which they shared amongst themselves.


Mr. Ngulube, who spoke on behalf of the residents, said he and his colleagues, they had been occupying the land more than 10 years and removing them from there was not only wrong but also a pure sign of corruption.


He has since called on government to call for a stakeholders’ meeting to ensure that the issue was resolved peacefully.


Police Spokesperson Elizabeth Kanjela denied commenting on the matter saying the issue should be taken up with the Ministry of Lands and clarified that land matters were outside police jurisdiction which was only offering security.


Ms. Kanjela however confirmed that the police were present during the demolishing of the structures in the said area.


Meanwhile, Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Minister Wilbur Simuusa said government was prepared to resolve any conflicts and confrontations that arise from land issues.


Mr. Simuusa said his ministry will have to study the situation thoroughly before attempting to solve the conflicts that have seen people being displaced.


He advised Mr. Ngulube and his team to see the Permanent Secretary adding that government was always ready to meet with the representatives of aggrieved people to find suitable ways of resolving issues.