UPND’s mweetwa in land saga

Tue, 31 Jan 2017 08:53:13 +0000

…the Choma MP is alleged to have grabbed land that was ear-marked for the construction of a market and a mini hospital

CHOMA Member of Parliament and Anti-corruption crusader  Cornelius Mweetwa has allegedly grabbed land that was earmarked for the construction of a market and mini-hospital in a move that would have seen vendors removed from the streets of Choma, it has been revealed.

Mr Mweetwa has allegedly turned the 70 by 130 square meters Choma Municipal Council land for the construction of a new market into  personal property by altering the ownership documents of the piece of land.

But Mr Mweetwa, former chairman of the African Parliamentarians Against Corruption (APNAC), when contacted, could neither confirm nor deny his involvement in the land saga, and asked the reporter to speak to Choma town clerk Timothy Mumbalakata.

Mr Mumbalakata, when contacted, said he was out of the office and would only be able to comment on the matter next week.

The 70×130 metres land in question is on plot number 5640 located in New Kalundu area and was given to the Choma Municipal Council for the construction of a market so that vendors in Southern Province’s administration town could leave the streets to trade in a designated area.

It is alleged that Mr Mweetwa changed the documents for the land in question to his own  personal property, a move that has angered UPND Choma Central aspiring parliamentary candidate in the August 11, 2016, elections Joe Muchindu.

Mr. Muchindu alleged that Mr Mweetwa grabbed the land that was earmarked by the Choma Municipal Council for the construction of a modern market and a mini-hospital in Choma.

Mr. Muchindu said in an interview that it was sad that the place that was allocated to accommodate street vendors to pave way for their relocation from Choma shop corridors had allegedly been misappropriated by a lawmaker who they voted to represent them.

He explained that the land was given to the public by the Choma Municipal Council in 2015 but Mr Mweetwa had unscrupulously altered ownership documents and had turned the piece of land to a personal property. Mr Muchindu said the current Makalanguzu market did not have enough space for new toilets and it was therefore decided to move the street vendors to a new market.

Said Mr Muchindu: “The exercise of moving street vendors out of corridors can be possible if the authorities find a suitable place to take these vendors. It is sad that the land that was given to the public has been grabbed by someone by the name of Cornelius Mweetwa. I have the documents of the 70×130 plot and the plot is located in New Kalundu, plot number 5640.

”I started telling Mr Mweetwa to return the plot to the people last week and he does not want to listen. I will not stop this fight until Mr Mweetwa gives back the land to the public because none of us has benefitted from his sitting allowances in Parliament. If it were in other countries, Mr Mweetwa could have resigned on moral grounds,” he said.

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