Zambia Railways to begin repossessing land


DAYS are numbered for traders and squatters who have encroached on the Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL) land because the railway company will soon begin repossessing the land.
ZRL head of corporate affairs Benson Ngula says the company will, however, work with stakeholders to ensure squatters find alternative land but stressed that the eviction is non-negotiable.
Mr Ngula said this in Choma on Tuesday during a ‘Keep Choma Clean’ campaign stakeholders meeting.
He said the company will work with Choma Municipal Council to ensure that those illegally trading or residing in the ZRL land are not victimised during the relocation exercise.
Mr Ngula said the railway firm will also reposesss land which was sold to squatters during the concession to Railway Systems of Zambia (RCZ) because the sale of the land was illegally done.
He said the relocation of the squatters is inevitable because it is very dangerous for any person to live or trade close to railway tracks, especially in the event of a derailment.
“By law, no person or entity is supposed to build a structure within the 50  metre radius from the Zambia Railways land,” Mr Ngula said.
He also regretted that between 2000 and 2012, the railway company witnessed “serious encroachment, trespasses and vandalism on its property and land”.
“A number of things went amiss during the concession period.  Zambians decided to take the law into their own hands, we experienced encroachment, vandalism and there was a lot of trespassing because the company was privately owned,” Mr Ngula he said.
And Mr Ngula said his company will actively participate in the ‘Keep Choma Clean’ campaign.
Earlier, Choma district commissioner Bernadette Hamweemba called on the business community to actively participate in keeping the district clean, especially ahead of the country’s golden jubilee celebrations.
Ms Hamweemba said the jubilee will be more meaningful if it is celebrated in a clean environment.