By GIDEON NYENDWA
THE abrupt halting of all activities at the de-gazetted Forest 27 by the government is illegal and an abuse of power, Lusaka lawyer Makebi Zulu has said.
Mr Zulu said the minister had no powers to halt developmental activities on that land without taking any legal steps that were required before taking such a drastic action.
He said in an interview the decision by the new government to halt developmental projects on the land was not backed by law.
Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Elijah Muchima, and his Local Government counterpart, Gary Nkombo, on Wednesday instructed that all developmental projects taking place at Forest Reserve 27 in Lusaka be halted.
Mr Mushima explained that the suspension would give chance for government to find out how plots were acquired in a water reserve area.
But Mr Zulu said having been duly de-gazetted by a sitting President, developments on Forest 27 were not illegal and a minister could not order for a stop without a court order.
He said procedures and consultations were followed before removing official status on the land and allocations were made thereafter.
He said the properties that were on that land were owned by individuals and if they were going to take any action toward that they must take legal steps first.
Mr Zulu also said that anyone who has property on that land and understands the law very well cannot take heed to that instruction because it was illegal.
“He has no power to do that,” he added