The video has today’s footage and that of Sept 3, 2020
By JOHN SAKALA
Chingola Municipal Council in the early hours of today swung into action and demolished illegal structures in Gymkhana area.
This is an area which has been planned by the local authority but some squatters have migrated to the area to build temporal structures on the land in order to claim that they stay on the piece of land once regularization takes place.
Speaking this morning when this Reporter visited the area, Comfort Miyaba a squatter who had a document for his disability said he was given the land by resettlement officers.
Mr Miyaba said he was fished out of the house like a common criminal by police who never dared to look at the document.
Another Squatter Memory Chipwaka pleaded with the council to handle the matter peacefully.
And Bupalo Ward Councillor Nelius Mumba has appealed on the council to expedite the process of relocating squatters found on the piece of land in Gymkhana.
Mr Mumba said his role as a leader is to lobby for the people in his ward to ensure that they are considered when there a cake available on the table.
He said the squatters were found in the land before the land was planned and his only desire is that they are given priority in any local cost allocation.
Chingola Mayor Titus Tembo regretted that the council had to demolish the illegal structures for the people to heed to the warning.
Mr Tembo said since 2017, the Council has been advising the people to leave the land since it was planned as low cost residential area but there were adamant and slowly the numbers of ilegalities shot up in the area.
He said the council had spent money sensitizing the community on how to acquire land legally.
“Those wanting to buy land, they must first verify with the local authority or the Ministry of Land to ensure that the land in question is genuinely acquired. Our people should also know that only the council has authority to plan for land in the district as an agent of Ministry of Land,” he said.
Mr Tembo said he was disappointed that some leaders in the district are busy encouraging people to build illegally.
He said those involved in illegality their days are numbered and whoever is found wanting, the due process of the law will be allowed to take its course.
While Nchanga Member of Parliament Chali Chilombo regretted the situation and called for quantification of affected families.
“This is a very sad development and I empathise with everybody affected. As this is a Local Government issue, I hope we can all support them to deal with the matter appropriately. In the meantime let’s establish how many households are affected and see how we can support them,” he posted on TIO Politics WhatsApp group.
On September 3, 2020, the Copperbelt Deputy Permanent Secretary Warren Manyando in the company of Chingola Mayor Titus Tembo and Town Clerk Mutakela Kabombo visited the area to ascertain the number of people living on that piece of land.
From the interviews with the residents, it was proven that only six households were genuine squatters who were living in the area as seen in the video.
And even during the execution of the demolition this morning, the executors selectively left out the houses of the genuine squatters who the Council wants to assimilate in its planning while the rest are people who have built temporal structures with unburnt bricks.
The houses demolished were a handful, less than 20.