Mindolo North Squatters Stay Put

SQUATTERS in Mindolo North in Kitwe whose illegal structures have been demolished by the Kitwe City Council (KCC) have vowed not to leave the area because the land was duly offered to them.

A combined team of KCC and State police two weeks ago swung into action demolishing more than 600 houses which were allegedly built on land belonging to Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) and Phoenix materials.

But a check by the Times yesterday found the squatters had erected makeshift stalls while others had put up bricks to make temporal shelters.

Ernest Kapembwa, whose house was demolished, said he would not leave the family because he had lived in the area for four years and had nowhere to take his family.

Mr Kapembwa said the plots in question were allocated to them by council officials and that the residents did not demarcate the land on their own.

He suggested that the council should legalise the area and allow them to pay penalty fees.

“We are not leaving this area, we did not offer these plots to ourselves and as far as we are concerned there is no title indicating that the land belongs to someone else. So let them just legalise the area and we are ready to pay penalty fees,” he said.

Mr Kapembwa said school going children had been disturbed and cannot get transfers to other schools.

Another victim Evaristo Kapambwe said water and Zesco poles had already been erected in the area an indication that the land was legally allocated.

Mr Kapambwe said the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit(DMMU) should offer humanitarian aid within the area not anywhere else.

Patriotic Front (PF) Matero constituency chairlady, Mercy Chisenga who went to console the victims said opposition political parties should not take aantage of the situation.

Ms Chisenga said the alleged illegal plots were allocated during the MMD reign and that the council should legalise the area.

The (DMMU) is expected to provide relief to the affected residents who have been left homeless following the demolition exercise.

Source : The Times of Zambia

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