Mindolo squatters get two weeks extension
Kitwe, Sept 22, 2014, ZANIS….. Government has given Mindolo township squatters a two – weeks grace period to look for alternative accommodation.
The displaced families were resettled in make-shift tents by government three months ago following the demolition of their houses by the Kitwe City Council because they were built on illegally obtained plots.
Kitwe District Commissioner Elias Kamanga told ZANIS in an interview today that the squatters were supposed to vacate the camp today as the initial 90 days period they were given has expired.
Mr Kamanga said government had however given the squatters two more weeks to look for where to go.
He emphasized that government will immediately demobilize the tents and stop providing water and sanitation services, electricity and security to the site when the extension period expires.
And Mr Kamanga said the squatters cannot continue staying at the camp with the threatening rain season as the camp was not suitable for habitation.
He also added that Helen Kaunda secondary school management who are the owners of the piece of land where the camp was set-up has written to his office asking it to surrender the piece of land as they want to embark on some construction works.
The District Commissioner further noted that the issue of vacating from the camp should not be argued because all the occupants signed a memorandum of understanding with the Disaster Management Unit that they will leave the camp after three months.
And Kitwe City Council Public Relations Manager Dorothy Sampa said the council is not giving the squatters an alternative piece of land because it had none.
Mr Sampa said if land will be found in future the squatters can apply just like any other person in need of land following the normal procedure.
But the squatters have insisted that they have nowhere to go and are waiting for government to give them a place to go.
Adellah Gondwe, one of the squatters, told ZANIS in Kitwe today that they were aware of the deadline but had nowhere to go and as such are waiting for government to give them alternative land.
The families had their houses demolished by the council three months ago because they had built on a piece of land belonging to Mopani Copper Mines and the Kitwe city council.