Cabinet ministers, Patriotic Front (PF) councilors and senior government officials have shared 27 hectares of land belonging to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The land, Twin Palm Road plot 1360/M opposite Leopards Hill Memorial Park was meant for among other things the Levy Mwanawasa Centre for Democracy and Good Governance, Zambia Institute of Diplomacy and International Studies, Multi-purpose Convention Centre and Five VIP guest houses for special envoys and other foreign dignitaries.
Letters of offer to at least ten Cabinet Ministers and many councilors are reported to have been written disregarding the initial plan of the land by the Lusaka City Council (LCC) which had prepared an elaborate design incorporating an number of services for the plot.
Irate Foreign Affairs staff questioned why the land which was earmarked for the construction of the Levy Mwanawasa Centre for Democracy and Good Governance was being shared by ministers and councilors without the owners of the land knowing about it, and without them benefiting.
The staff told the Daily Nation that the LCC had written to the Ministry of Lands requesting the ministry to write to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs about the decision to re-plan plot number 1360/M along Twin Palm Road opposite the Leopards Hill Memorial Park.
The workers said it was unfortunate that before the land could be re-planned by the ministry, 10 senior PF Cabinet Ministers, councilors and some businessmen have shared the land and no consideration was made to include the Ministry staff.
The workers have now appealed to President Sata to cancel the offers to revert the plot to its original plan which which will include an opportunity for them to acquire plots as many of them did not benefit from housing empowerment.
The land which measures 27 hectares was also supposed to host the multipurpose Convention Centre and other facilities.
The land was earmarked for two government reserve plots, three institutional plots, twenty two commercial and one hundred and thirty four residential plots out of which some would have been given to the members of staff at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and some under the Commissioner of Lands Office at the Ministry of Lands.
The land was also supposed to include planning for institutional, residential and commercial plots and the creation of two government reserve plots, three institutional plots, twenty two commercial and one hundred and thirty four residential plots.