By Joy Sichizya in Solwezi
Solwezi Municipal Council Town Clerk Bornwell Luanga has warned Solwezi residents against illegal activities and developments at the Kimasala cemetery.
Eng Luanga said the infrastructure built and other activities taking place at the cemetery are illegal, uncultural and persons undertaking such, risk being prosecuted through the Courts of Law.
“It is unfortunate that despite the Council writing and engaging developers to desist from such activities, all engagements were futile as they went ahead to put up structures.
“Section 71 of the Urban and Regional Planning Act No. 3 of 2015 stipulates that a person commits an offence if that person, without lawful authority, uses or occupies any piece or parcel of land or building OR erects any building or structure in any area without the prior approval of the planning authority within whose jurisdiction the land is situated. Further, it outlines that a person convicted of an offence under this Act is liable to a fine not exceeding two hundred thousand penalty units (K60, 000.00) or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years, or to both,” he said.
The Town Clerk assured that the local authority through its Fast Track Court will be prosecuting illegal developers and all those found undertaking activities at the old grave yard as a measure to discourage un-lawful activities.
He said that the Council will embark on clearing the Cemetery and placing visible beacons to ensure illegal activities do not re-occur.
Eng Luanga bemoaned the act of disrespecting sacred sites adding that residents need to respect the dead by avoiding vices that are uncultural and illegal.
The Kimasala Graveyard was closed in 2016 after it became full.
Eng Luanga who was accompanied by Director Planning Sandra Bwalya, Director Public Health Wamunyima Mumbali, Director Legal Luchinde Tembo Chilinda, Council Police, Building Inspectors and Surveyors undertook a site visit of the Kimasala Cemetery where four housing structures have been built while part of the Cemetery has also been turned into a block molding area.