By JOHN SAKALA
An Alderman at Chingola Council Stephen Mubanga has advised Chingola Municipal Council to revise its developmental charges on newly acquired plots saying they are too high.
Speaking during the full Council meeting today, Mr Mubanda said K21, 000 for commercial plots to be paid in 21 days was higher for ordinary residents.
He said K15, 000 and K8, 000 for high cost and low cost plots respectively were high charges working against Government which claims to be pro poor.
Mr Mubanga asking members of the public to pay the K21, 000, K15, 000 and K8, 000 within 21 days was being unrealistic with the current economy.
He said that not everyone is privileged like the Councillors but the residents still have the hearts to build.
“There are some plots that we gave out but despite the developmental charges, the water utility firm Mulonga Water and Sewerage Company had failed to provide both water and sewer networks,” he said.
He called for revision of the developmental charges as he advised the Councilors to be empathic.
But in response Kasompe Ward Councillor Johnstone Kang’ombe said the successful land applicants were awarded because their bank accounts had reflected that they had money to pay for the developmental charges.
Mr Kang’ombe said the criteria for selection was that each applicant who attended interviews was asked how soon they can pay for developmental charges if they were awarded a plot.
Maiteneke PF Ward Councillor Charles Musonda who is also chairperson for Projects, Works and Real Estates said the matter of revising the charges can only be discussed in the committee meeting away from the public eye.
Mr Musonda said if the Council made a mistake and it has realized the mistake the best way is to table the matter indoors.
And Bupalo PF Ward Councillor Nelius Mumba said though the amount was within range but the stipulated 21 days was such a short period, more especially that the Council was demanding full payment.
But Chingola Mayor Titus Tembo asked for a breakdown from Mr Mubanga on what he was not comfortable with on the proposed developmental charges.
Mr Tembo said the council will not be making decisions that disorient the council there failing to provide much needed services.
He said land development charges even in rural councils were high.
He however said the Council will look in the mater administratively where he implored residents wishing to make installment payments to see the Director of Finance on how the developmental changes would be settled.