By AARON CHIYANZO
THE Lusaka City Council has called for a meeting with aggrieved residents of PHI opposed to the development of a shopping mall.
It is being constructed by a Chinese firm on land under the Zesco pole lines near the Praise Worship Centre in Lusaka.
The land belongs to the Chainama Hospital on which the Presidential Housing Initiative was allowed to build structures following extensive invasion by squatters.
A senior PHI official told the Daily Nation that strict instructions were given by Zesco to distance the housing development from the pole lines and a fence was subsequently constructed to stop any development.
In an invitation letter addressed to the PHI Neighbourhood Watch Committee, Lusaka Town Clerk, Alex Mwansa said the meeting was called to hear concerns of both the residents and the developer.
Mr Mwansa said the meeting will be held today in the Council Chamber at 14 hours.
“Following media reports that the residents of PHI residential area opposed the development of a shopping mall on the land reserved for other services, Council has decided to invite you and
the developer to a meeting to hear the concerns of both parties,” the letter reads in part. Residents recently blocked the Chinese developer from constructing a shopping mall on land dubiously allocated by the Lusaka City Council.
The residents have mounted security to ensure that the developer did not have access to the land.
Lusaka City Council Public Relations Manager, George Sichimba, confirmed that the Chinese developer had rights to the land because he had title deeds from the Ministry of Lands.
But Ms Jacqueline Chishimba, a member of the PHI neighbourhood watch said the council refused to sell the land in question to residents to set up a youth centre.
The council, she said, advised that the area was not safe because it was under Zesco pole lines but surprisingly the local authority sold the same plot to a Chinese firm to construct a mall.
Lands Minister Jean Kapata also said the ministry would investigate the sale.