Kitwe residents invade graveyard, allocate plots for housing


SOME people have invaded an old cemetery in Kitwe’s Chimwemwe Township where they have allocated themselves more 200 residential plots within the graveyard.
An on-the-spot check  found the residents had marked boundaries within the graveyard and a number of tombstones cleared to pave way for commencement of construction works.
Chimwemwe Ward councillor, Charles Kabwita, who inspected the old cemetery site, said more than 200 residential plots had been zoned into residential plots within the graveyard by the invaders.
Mr Kabwita expressed displeasure with the residents over their conduct to allocate themselves plots within the graveyard.
He said it was inhuman for the residents to encroach on an old cemetery site and allocate themselves plots without council approval.
‘‘People cannot just rezone the graveyard into residential plots without the knowledge of the local authority,’’ he said.
Mr Kabwita expressed disappointment with Kitwe City Council management for allegedly being slow in stopping the invasion on the old cemetery.
A group of people from within Chimwemwe that was found lingering around the old cemetery said they were prompted to seek plots from the graveyard site when they saw their colleagues from other areas such as
Kawama and Ipusukilo had started allocating themselves plots.
‘‘We first saw a group of people from Kawama led by their chairperson Mr Chama allocating themselves plots here within the graveyard and upon seeing that, it’s when this group from Chimwemwe also came in,’’
said Amon Musonda, who was group spokesperson.
Council spokesperson Dorothy Sampa described the act by people to allocate themselves plots at the old cemetery as disheartening.
Ms Sampa said the council was aware of the invasion on the old cemetery by people who had allocated themselves plots and that the local authority was just putting measures in place to stop the illegal act.
‘‘This is very disheartening because that is a grave site and as Zambians, we did not expect that people can move into a grave site and start demolishing tombstone in order to construct houses.
‘‘This is uncalled for. We are just mobilising resources and very soon, we will be moving in to stop the activities,’’ Ms Sampa.


Times of Zambia