THE Ndola City Council (NCC) says it has put in place some stringent measures to enhance transparency and curb alleged corruption in land administration in the city.
NCC has promised to deal with a cartel involved in illegal land allocation and also shake off the tag of allegedly being the most corrupt in the administration of land.
Ndola Town Clerk, Ernest Sumani said the council had put in place policy and administrative measures to promote transparency and curb corruption in land matters.
Mr Sumani said in an interview yesterday that the measures include suspension of land allocation and amnesty, lifting of suspension and streamlining of land allocation.
He said to promote transparency and accountability in service provision, NCC prepared and validated the service charters and customer service centre.
The service charters provide a framework of the procedures and expected timeframe of the services the council was providing including land allocation.
Mr Sumani said NCC had also strengthened its integrity committee, council police and was collaborating with other Government security wings
Reacting to a story carried by the Sunday Times of Zambia yesterday over a scam in the Ndola National Forest Number 38 covering 330 hectares of land, Mr Sumani said the area in question was still intact and undeveloped and that only Dola Hill was available.
Mr Sumani said NCC had not offered anyone a plot in the Forest Number 38 area but that it had a site plan and provisional numbers for Dola Hill.
He, however, conceded that the council was facing problems with some unscrupulous estate agents who were selling plots to unsuspecting residents.
“This is a challenge. We have a problem with these agents and it’s a problem we want to address as a council. So our position is that there is no one who has been offered a plot in the Ndola Forest Number 38. That Forest Number 38 is still intact and undeveloped. The area they are referring to where they have that offer letter is called Dola Hill and it’s available. I even have a site plan and provisional numbers for that,” he said in an interview yesterday.
According to Sunday Times investigations, NCC has provisionally allocated some residential plots in the forest reserve, which are subject to ratification by the council, contrary to Government procedure.
NCC is said to have offered Mapesa Musukwa a residential stand number 002 Dola Hill in a letter dated August 5, 2014 which was purported to have been signed by Mr Sumani and copied to the directors of legal services, city planning and finance.
But Mr Sumani said the issue of provisional numbers was stopped some time back by the council and that NCC issued a memorandum of February 23, 2015 which explained the streamlining of land allocation procedure.
Mr Sumani advised those with old offer letters to visit the Civic Centre so that they get new ones with special security features after verification.
By FELIX MALUNGA – Times