- “They are trying to frustrate me because I am a politician by accusing me of grabbing community land. Many people including a Chinese national have acquired land in the area which was reserved for social amenities but the Ministry of Lands decided to sell it,” Ms Phiri said
By SILUMESI MALUMO and JOHN KOMBE
GENDER Minister Elizabeth Phiri is shocked that she is being singled out when there are other people, including a Chinese who have legally acquired land in Silverest previously earmarked for social amenities.
Ms Phiri said in an interview that people wanted to frustrate her because she was a politician, hence the attacks over the piece of land she legally acquired in Silverest.
“They are trying to frustrate me because I am a politician by accusing me of grabbing community land. Many people including a Chinese national have acquired land in the area which was reserved for social amenities but the Ministry of Lands decided to sell it,” Ms Phiri said.
She said the entire area where several people had acquired land, including the Immigration Department, was planned for social amenities but the Ministry of Lands started selling it out.
The land was advertised in the media, she said, that is when I got interested and the Ministry of Lands sold it to me like many others who acquired land in the same area.
Ms Phiri said she can only give up the land in question when documentations from the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources and Chongwe Municipal Council proved she acquired the land illegally.
She said documents were there at the Ministry of Lands and Chongwe local authority to show that she bought the land using the right procedure.
The minister said she was only being targeted by some individuals because she was a politician thereby trying to dent her reputation.
But when contacted Chongwe Municipal Council acting Town Clerk Peter Banda, said he was not permitted to respond to media queries in his acting role.
Mr Banda said he would only be able to respond when the council authority had cleared him.
He said the Town Clerk would be able to respond to such queries when he returned in office on Wednesday.
And when contacted, the Town Clerk, Mr Levis Mumba said he would only revert back once he was back in office.
According to the documentations availed to Sunday Nation from Chongwe Municipal Council and Ministry of Lands, Ms Phiri followed the right procedure to acquire the land in question.
The document were signed by both Ministry of Lands and Chongwe Municipal Council and she was given a go ahead to develop the land in question.
“In my political journey I have told myself to do the right things which can help to build my reputation and not destroy it. I did everything required to acquire this land, I deposited money in the council account and the receipts are there to show. So why should someone come today to say I grabbed the land.
It is clear that they are trying to target me because I am a politician,” Ms Phiri said.
Last Sunday, Ms Phiri held a meeting with the residents of Silverest who are opposed to her developing the controversial piece of land, claiming it was earmarked for a clinic.