Demolitions of Townships Part of Sata’s Plan, Says Saunders

Political activist Dante Saunders says Zambians must expect the current demolition of houses in Kitwe to extend countrywide because this was one of Michael Sata’s campaign promises.

Saunders said in Lusaka that people must not forget that Michale Sata openly informed Zambians in 2006 that he would demolish shanty compounds when he becomes president.

“It is just unfortunate that it has started on the Copperbelt and in Mindolo. We should recall that Michael Sata said he would demolish these compounds and build new ones. Let us wait for him to build new ones now,” Saunders said.

He said in 2006, Michael Sata said his Patriotic Front (PF) would demolish all shanty townships across the country in order to facilitate the erection of decent and affordable structures that would have clean and adequate water with decent sanitation.

“Michael Sata is just delivering on his campaign promise. He told us from 2006 that he would demolish all townships such as Chibolya, Chawama and Misisi in Lusaka. He said he would do the demolitions across the country. For me, it is like this campaign promise has been actualized into a policy and it is in full swing now. We must expect the demolitions to extend to other parts of the country,” he said.

Several houses in Kitwe’s Mondolo area were razed following an ambitious operation by a combined team of Kitwe City council and the Zambian Police Force.

According to the authorities, the demolitions were done in the area because the structures were erected on illegal plots.

But Saunders has disputed this allegation saying it was not only in Mindolo where there were houses built on illegal land.

He said the government must explain the careless and wanton damage of private property because innocent and defenceless people had lost valuable property and wealth because it was expensive to build a house under the current hard economic terrain of the PF rule.

“This is a government that claims to be pro-poor. So if they are pro-poor, why are they demolishing houses for the poor without giving them any alternatives first. This is mere carelessness and irresponsibility on the part of government that has failed to protect the interest of the people who voted for them,” he said.

During the demolition operation, over 400 families have been left homeless in the current winter season while household property worth millions of kwacha had been destroyed from the houses.

Saunders said it would take a long time for calm to return to Mindolo because the extent of damaging people’s houses was too large for anyone to comprehend.

He said this demolition exercise had shown that Michael Sata was pretending to be a man who loved the poor.

“From this demolition, we must ask ourselves whether it is indeed true that Michael Sata loves the poor or he actually loves to see poor people. It is now clear that he loves to see poor people,” he said.

After the demolition exercise, there has been no security in Mindolo area because residents who had their houses razed down were protesting and descending on other people’s private property n the adjacent areas.

Source : Zambia Reports

Leave a Reply