2)–Chipata squatters demand land tribunal

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Chipata squatters demand land tribunal

Chipata, October 10, 2014…Squatters on Farm D115 in Chipata have appealed to President Michael Sata to institute a land tribunal to find out how the title holder Kabilika Nkwengwe acquired the farm.

The squatters said in an interview yesterday that government should find out how and when the village existed saying it is not a farm but a village under chief Kapatamoyo.

Richard Mwale alleged that Mr Nkhwengwe acquired the land dubiously saying the Law prohibits anyone to own over 250 hectares.

“His farm is over 800 hectares, we believe there is something fishy about it and we will not leave this land, if they insist that we should move away from here, we are not going to move, let them move their parents to Mundui not us,” said Mr Mwale.

He accused officers charged with the responsibility of resolving the matter of being corrupt saying they were siding with the land owner as they want to acquire land from Mr Nkhwengwe.

“They are corrupt and they are giving President Michael Sata a headache because the President hates corruption,” he said.

Mr Mwale said the matter is supposed to be resolved by the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs saying those handling the matter are not considerate of the villagers.

He dared government to relocate the villagers saying the people will not vacate the land in question.

Mr Mwale said the farm in question is a village under chief Kapatamoyo which he said has been in existence for a long time saying it is not possible that Mr Nkhwengwe acquired the land.

And headwoman Wachepa, Vicky Wachepa, said the squatters have vowed never to leave the land in question saying their parents were buried in the area which they refer to as Wachepa village.

She said the villagers will never relocate to Mundui resettlement scheme which has been offered to the 70 families of Wachepa village.

The houses at Wachepa village were razed down in October 2011 following a court order which left the 70 families homeless who had illegally settled on land which is on title.

Government at one time attempted to acquire the land in question for the families but later rescinded its decision and decided to relocate the villagers to Mundui resettlement scheme, a move which has since been resisted.

Recently, Eastern Province Permanent Secretary Dr. Chileshe Mulenga ordered the villagers to vacate the land and relocate to Mundui resettlement scheme and advised the title holder to execute the court order.