Editorial

ILLEGAL STRUCTURES

IT IS sad that after investing millions in a property, that property is  then demolished because it is sitting on an illegally acquired piece of land.

This is the fate which has befallen some families in Lusaka’s Kamwala and Libala area where houses built on the Nyanji commuter land will have to be demolished without compensation.

Where was the Lusaka City Council when this land was being given away for development?

 How where the building plans approved for structures sitting on illegally acquired  land. Now suddenly both the council and the Zambia Railways have woken up from slumber to claim their land after families have settled there.

Most local authorities in the country are guilty of neglecting their duty of monitoring development activities in their areas. Many families   have lost money through acquisition of illegal plots which most local authorities should be able to spot and stop before life savings are poured down the drain.

It is doubtful that so many people would invest money developing a  piece of land whose acquisition they were not sure. Sadly this seems to be what is happening in the capital city where some families acquired and built houses on pieces of land obtained dubiously.

While agreeing with the  Zambia Land Alliance has (ZLA) that illegalities need to be treated as such, it is also important that the local authority is held accountable for not intervening to stop these illegal acquisition of land.

According to a notice in the media,  a demolition exercise of structures built on the Railway line stretch between Kamwala and Libala by the Zambia Railways and the Lusaka City Council, is all but set.

 The Zambia Railways Limited in partnership with LCC plans to demolish illegal structures built on the land along the stretch commonly known as Njanji commuter land reserve belonging to them.

ZLA executive Director Patrick Musole said demolishing the structures was the right way to go considering the illegalities that had been going on in which people had been acquiring   land illegally .

Mr Musole charged that most of the land around the stretch was allocated illegally either by cadres or people allocating it to themselves.

Purely on humanitarian grounds, the government should help these families  rather than just leaving them at the mercy of demolition squads.

This is a government of the people by the people for the people. To err is human. These people erred big time by trusting crooks who sold them land belonging to the Zambia Railways.

The desperation to own property has led many to invest wrongly.

It is actually surprising that despite a land audit that was under taken by the PF government in all councils, such activities were not identified and rectified.

Then Local Government minister Charles Banda had ordered an audit of the LCC plot allocation and surprisingly this particular was not raised.

Rather than deal with illegal allocation of land in piece meal fashion, government should  undertake another audit to ascertain that people have built where they should build.

This will help safeguard individual investments as well as protect private or government land from being encroached.

EDITORIAL COMMENT

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