Sun, 28 Jan 2018 10:20:15 +0000
…as residents obtain injunction against
By BENNIE MUNDANDO
THE High Court has halted the construction of the controversial Kalundu mall in Lusaka.
This follows an injunction obtained by residents against Minister of Local Government Vincent Mwale and the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) that allowed a Chinese firm Shumeite to continue construction.
The company has been ordered to cease its construction until the outcome of the main matter in which the residents have protested the construction of a shopping mall in the middle of a residential area.
“The stay of the decisions should to that extent be on the basis that all activities and construction works by the developer should cease and further that the costs of and incidental to this application, should be abide the outcome of the main matter,” the court order reads in part.
Effectively, the Judge has ruled that the permission for the project granted by the Minister and the approval also granted by ZEMA should both pend until the hearing of the main matter in which residents have raised objections against the project.
After six months of bickering between the residents and the developer over the project, Mr. Mwale on November 13, 2017 wrote a letter to Shumeite to approve and authorise the company to resume the construction, basing his decision on the Urban and Regional Planning Act No 3 of 2015.
On November 9, 2017 ZEMA also gave Shumeite a go-ahead once they met a number of conditions such as obtaining consent from immediate neighbours with respect to intrusion on privacy activities prior to start of project activities.
On January 4, 2017, Kalundu residents wrote a letter to the Town Clerk and gave a 24-hour ultimatum to halt construction or face legal action, but the ultimatum was also ignored, leading to the current court action.