MP, councilor in near punch-up

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 09:27:22 +0000

 

By Wilson Pondamali

ATTEMPS by Kabwe Member of Parliament Tutwa Ngulube to forcibly stop the takeover of a recreational park by a private developer Kabwe Patriotic Front (PF) Councilor, Godrich Machuta nearly ended in a punch up last Saturday.

Mr. Ngulube blocked attempts to develop a recreational play park into private property by a company in which Machuta is a director from taking possession of recreation park land off Chilubi Island Street in Highridge residential area.

Mr Machuta and Mr Ngulube engaged in bitter exchange of words over a piece of land which the Luansase ward claimed was legally acquired from Zambia Railways with the Kabwe Council having approved the developments.

A visibly annoyed Ngulube who stormed the said piece of land directed that all works at the site be stopped immediately but Mr. Machuta challenged the lawmaker arguing that his company, Her Space Spar and Beauty Parlour had acquired the land legally from Zambia Railways.

Mr Machuta challenged Mr Ngulube who is PF legal counsel to serve him with a stop order but the Kabwe MP charged that under the law, it was only the Commissioner of Lands with the authority to offer and that Zambia Railways had no mandate to distribute land.

“Mr. Machuta you are now a Councillor and a director in the company doing these illegalities. You should have declared interest. I cannot serve you with a stop order because it is only the local authority that can do that. Under my tenure of office I will not allow any illegalities by my councilors in as far as land allocation is concerned,” Mr. Ngulube charged.

On Wednesday, Mr. Machuta told the Daily Nation that his company had applied for the said land and got permission to cut down the trees that were there but was surprised that the same local authority which had approved his project and receipted the cutting down of trees had U turned against his application.

A check at the site revealed that some trees had been cut in readiness for construction and a borehole has also been sunk. Mr. Ngulube demanded that all works being done be halted.

When contacted for a comment, Kabwe Mayor Prince Chileshe said he had not yet received a full report on the matter from the planning department but a reliable source from the council said that there was a three-year lease agreement between Zambia Railways and Her Space Spar and Beauty Parlour.

“Yes there is a lease agreement between Mr. Machuta’s company and Zambia Railways but the problem was that they did not submit the plans to the council for consideration. He (Machuta) started developing the land so that is why the council moved in to demolish the fence. However they have been told to resubmit the plans and once procedure is followed and the project studied, then we may allow them to go ahead,” the source said.

Meanwhile Mr. Ngulube has exposed another scam in which some named councilors have allocated land near the canal carrying water from the closed Kabwe Mine.

Mr Ngulube has warned that the names of the councilors were known but was disappointed that law enforcers were not taking action to punish the perpetrators of the crime. He castigated the Mayor and Town Clerk and urged them to be proactive as opposed to being reactive all the time. “The problem is that we have a lot of indiscipline in the council and am wondering why the people who are supposed to stop the illegality are not doing so. It only shows that they are either involved or they have to wake up and do the wake, be proactive instead of reactive all the time. We have some councilors that have invaded parks and allocated plots to themselves and their families in their wards and there is also allocation of plots in some land where even drainages have been blocked and this should not be allowed,” warned Mr. Ngulube.

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