JUST when everyone thought incidents of illegal dealings in land ended with the change of government after the August 12, 2021 tripartite elections, it appears that the vice is still rife.
And the disclosure by Nkana Member of Parliament Binwell Mpundu about the rampant illegal allocation of land in his constituency makes sad reading.
This is because the land in Mindolo and Kamakonde areas of Nkana constituency in Kitwe was earmarked for schools, markets and recreational facilities.
But it has been illegally allocated to individuals.
What is even surprising is that Mr Mpundu, as MP, has no clue as to who authorised the demarcation of the land.
We implore Mr Mpundu to investigate this land scam, which is not the first of its kind in Kitwe. There have been other scandals before that even resulted in the Kitwe City Council having its land agency suspended by the Ministry of Lands a few years ago.
In an interview in Kitwe yesterday, Mr Mpundu said he was appalled that pieces of land which were earmarked for various developmental projects have been illegally allocated to individuals.
“The sad part is that in some cases, the Kitwe City Council says they are not aware about these illegal allocation of land because they were allocated by the Ministry of Lands. So there is need for coordination between the Ministry of Lands and the council,’’ Mr Mpundu said.
It is hard to understand how the local authority which was probably aware of the planned developments in the constituency could not be aware that the land in question has been encroached on.
For if the planned development projects had the blessing of the council, it would have raised a red flag immediately the constructions started.
There is obviously need for coordination between the local authorities, the Ministry of Lands as well as the MPs to ensure that development is not derailed.
If there had been coordination, there would not have been any confusion that is obtaining now. For as Mr Mpundu noted, even pieces of land where roads were supposed to pass have been blocked by the illegal allocation.
Although Mr Mpundu has not identified the culprits behind these illegal land dealings, his insinuations point councillors being involved, saying the scourge had become rampant in less than six months in which they have been in office.
If this was so, then the councillors are also going against what the new dawn administration has spoken against, that no councilor should be involved in any illegal land deals.
It was the illegal land deals perpetuated by councillors that resulted in many councils having their land agency suspended.
It is important that illegal land dealings are nipped in the bud throughout the country to ensure that there is coordinated development especially of residential areas.
Said Mr Mpundu: “During my tour of the constituency, I was appalled by what I found in Kamakonde and Mindolo areas. Pieces of land earmarked for markets, schools and recreational facilities have been given to individuals and they are constructing.”
Let there be order in land dealings and those flouting the laws must not be spared. Let’s stop the rot.