We challenge the Minister of Lands to explain the demarcation and sharing of Mikango Barracks shooting range.
The land was made available to the army by Chief Nkomeshya for use as a range, not for demarcation to bogus settlers who are now threatening to evict the indigenous population.
We would like to know at what stage the Commissioner of lands entered this piece of land and indeed when it was advertised for prospective occupants.
It is understandable that Njolwe villagers in Chongwe where Mikango Barracks is situated have vowed not to leave their ancestral land because close to a century, they have farmed and grazed their animals from the land now being shared.
What is shocking is that some government officials have acquired for themselves ten large plots from which they now want to evict occupants.
We have in our posession the list of the people allocated the land. On top of the list is a very close relative of a very prominent party official.
Others allocated are so called “settlers” who are known crooks.
If the Commissioner does not give us justification for the allocation of this land, we shall be left with no choice but publish the names.
We are very concerned that political leaders are taking advantage of the prevailing leadership vacuum to advance impunity and total disregard for the law.
This land is under the aegis of the traditional chief who should have been consulted if change of use was intended. With her acquiesces, normal land alienation procedures should have been followed to create a level playing field for those already resident as villagers and the new interlopers claiming to be settlers in the area.
We equally challenge the Minister of Defence to explain how land intended for institutional use has been converted by individuals who have nothing to do with the army and in a manner that smacks of complete abuse of authority.
Sadly what we are witnessing is a frenzy of looting occasioned by the palpable governance vacuum. Some people are desperate to make hay while President Sata is still in office.
It is criminal that senior party and Government officials could demarcate and share land completely oblivious to the law and more importantly without fearing any form of retribution.
That our country has come to this level of impunity must worry the leadership of the Patriotic Front including the Central Committee which should have distanced itself from corrupt individuals who have not only tarnished the image of the party but have contributed to making it unpopular.
Unless the party exorcises itself from the demons of corruption and avarice represented by the cartel, it will continue to sink and will have itself to blame if is serves as a one term party.
The revelations of a land scramble in Mikango Barracks meant for shooting training range has not come as a surprise as for the last two months, President Sata has not been seen or heard and PF ministers and cadres know there is no one to instil discipline.
Apart from proxy rulers, most Zambian who have followed the Presidency must be in a state of shock as this is the first time a sitting president has been absent from citizens for as long as two months with no comprehensive statement from those in government.
If land can be shared without due regard for the locals, we sincerely do not know what else is being looted with impunity.