State fumes over West illegal land allocations

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GOVERNMENT has warned that it will revoke land agency for councils that are in the habit of illegal creation and allocation of plots in North-Western Province and hand concerned officers to law enforcement agencies.
Speaking when he officiated at the workshop for physical planners and directors of work on physical planning procedures and processes in Kabompo, North-Western Province Permanent Secretary Augustine Seyuba said officers in some districts in the province were compromised and allowed haphazard building of structures.
He said his office had observed with dismay, disorganised buildings of various structures coming up because some officers allowed clients to develop without planning and building permission from the planning authority or the provincial planning office.
“I, therefore, wish to sternly warn all the officers and councils in that habit that I will report them to law enforcement agencies. I will go further to strongly recommend to the Commissioner of Lands to withdraw the land agency of such a council,” Mr Seyuba said.
He, however, said his administration would always support planners for them to religiously come up with well-planned towns as failure to develop properly planned space would render the development that the Government was taking to North-Western Province a futile exercise.
He said it would be difficult to appreciate an area’s development level if the amount of infrastructure and the quality and special orientation of the infrastructure did not meet minimum standards and cited Solwezi town as a case in point.
North-Western Province was currently experiencing unprecedented economic growth which translated into construction of physical infrastructure and Mr Seyuba said without proper planning and enforcement of planning standards, all towns in the province risked looking like squatters or unplanned settlements.
“This workshop should, therefore, mark the beginning of a new era of intolerance towards unplanned development.
I demand that all of you should ensure that there is no illegal development in your towns,” he said.
Mr Seyuba said he would personally ensure that planning authorities facilitated the issuance of enforcement notices as soon as the officers recommended for demolition of illegal buildings as long as the recommendations were within the law.
The participants went through, among others, procedures and processes of planning, permission and land acquisition in towns as well as discussion of the geographical information system (GIS) with representatives from the Ministry of Local Government and Housing.
Mr Seyuba urged the officers to start digital data processing through the GIS as opposed to the current manual data processing.-Courtesy Suma-Systems.