Govt warns over land illegalities

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Govt warns over land illegalities

Nchelenge, Sept 18, 2014, ZANIS…Government has warned that it will not condone any illegalities in land acquisition.

Luapula province permanent secretary Chanda Kasolo says there are adequate statutes to govern the acquisition of land adding that the State will therefore not condone any illegality.

Mr Kasolo said the government will not be compromised on the acquisition of land because the laws were very clear on land administration and allocation.

Mr. Kasolo said it was shocking that the Kashikishi aerodrome in Nchelenge district has no room for expansion because of the encroachment by the local communities that have turned it into a burial site.

He observed that a burial site is a special resting place for the dead that cannot be vied for any development and wondered why the people in the area opted for the airstrip instead of engaging the local authority to provide a burial site.

Mr. Kasolo was speaking in Nchelenge on Tuesday when he led a team of investors that have expressed interest to partner with the government in the construction of modern airstrips in Luapula province.

He said the law will have to take its course and urged the families that have buried their dead at the airstrip to brace themselves for the repatriation of their remains to the council designated burial site.

Mr Kasolo however said that because the PF government was a listening government, the families will be given a chance to re-organize themselves and repatriate the dead to the council burial place.

The newly constructed New Apostolic Church adjacent to the airstrip has also been found wanting as it falls within the aerodrome and the PS said it has to be relocated.

The PS further said the move is within the confines of the law and the affected church and its congregants should not prejudice it to be blasphemy.

He urged the Nchelenge District Council to ensure that the law is strictly but fairly applied to all the erring parties to curb the lawlessness that has been exhibited by the said church and the numerous families of the deceased.

Mr. Kasolo further urged the Council Secretary Mulowa Sishumba to engage the affected families and the church in question for alternative pieces of land for reburying the dead and the erection of the church building.

He said Mr. Sishumba and his management should establish why the congregation decided to construct the church building within the aerodrome and provide it with a three months notice to relocate.

He however ruled out any prospects of reimbursement to the church and the affected families arguing that they broke the law and that they must stomach the consequences of their illegal actions.

Speaking earlier, Nchelenge District Commissioner (oyd Chakaba informed the PS and his entourage that the Kashikishi airstrip had been encroached by the local communities who turned into a burial site.

Mr. Chakaba said efforts by the Nchelenge District Council to stop the people from their illegal activities have been in futility as families continue to bury their dead just on the edge of the aerodrome.

However, he said he has engaged chief Kambwali over the matter in order to find a lasting solution to the invasion of the airstrip by families burying their departed loved ones and was optimistic that the illegality would soon stop.