Dola Hill plots under scrutiny

r Lands and Natural Resources Minister Christabel Ngimbu
r Lands and Natural Resources Minister Christabel Ngimbu

PF secretary general Davis Chama has said the party would investigate the confusion that has arisen in the sale of plots at Dola Hill in Ndola.
Meanwhile, Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Minister Christabel Ngimbu has warned the Ndola City Council (NCC) to adhere to procedures when issuing forms for plots that were advertised in the media.
Mr Chama said the fact that the council advertised the plots was logical that there should be transparency.
Mr Chama said since the ruling party was transparent, this should reflect in the local authority which needed to be open in the manner it was selling the plots.
“The council should be transparent and public offices demands one to have integrity,” he said.
Commenting on the same subject, Ms Ngimbu said the council should stick to the procedure and the 450 sheets should be sold to members of the public who should include 30 per cent women.
“My eyes are on the Ndola City Council and I am making a stern warning to them that they should follow the procedure strictly,” she said.
The Dola Hill plots have been steeped in controversy after the Sunday Times early this year exposed the local authority of having sold the land to members of the public before its degazettion.
Hundreds of Ndola residents that queued up as early as 04:00 hours to buy the charge sheets on August 13, 2015 at the councils offices were shocked when they were turned away and told that the forms had run out.
The council offices started selling the forms on Thursday around 11:00 hours and only 10 men were sold with the rest of the people being told the forms had run out.
This angered members of the public who complained that it was wrong for the local authority to advertise land that had already been sold and appealed to Republican President Edgar Lungu to intervene in the matter.
The residents complained and urged the local authority to be transparent in dealing with issues related to land.
The advert for the sale of the plots appeared in the Times of Zambia’s editions of August 13 and 14, 2015.
When contacted for a comment, Ndola Town Clerk Ernest Sumani said only 150 plots were available and that 450 charge sheets were issued on a first-come-first-served basis.
Mr Sumani said the people who went to the council offices in the morning were not served because the target of 450 charge sheets had already been reached.
“Only 150 plots are available, and 450 charge sheets. We do not want to exceed 450 because the members of the public will be claiming that we were stealing from them. We are trying so hard to manage the process in a transparent manner,” he said.
In April this year, the Sunday Times exposed a scam in which the local authority was alleged to have sold plots in the Ndola Forest number 38 Dola Hill before its degazettion and also found some beacons that had been mounted.
The residents that bought plots from the said land received offer letters and site plans and also had provisional numbers.

Times of Zambia