A SCHEME has been exposed in which senior Patriotic Front officials in Lusaka have allegedly illegally allocated land to a named Chinese national for construction of shops along the Bombay drainage system behind the Tazara House going against the Lusaka City Council directives to stop any further construction on the same piece of land.
Council officers who confided in the Daily Nation disclosed that the Chinese national had decided to continue with the construction of shops despite the Lusaka City Council stopping him because senior PF officials, among them deputy ministers and councillors, were behind the illegality.
According to the letter obtained from the Lusaka City Council on Thursday dated 28th October, 2014, Lusaka City Council Town Clerk, Alex Mwansa, revoked the permit for the construction of shops along the land which lies next to Bombay drainage in Kamwala.
The said land was allocated to a Chinese businessman for the purpose of constructing shops last year in August but the Ministry of Local Government withdrew the planning permission to commence construction works.
“Re: Withdraw of planning permission to commence construction works on plot 38793 and 38740 Kamwala plan 579/2014.
The above matter refers, I regret to inform you that the planning permission granted to you on 28th August, 2014 to commence construction works of shops on stand 38739 and 38740, Kamwala plan 579/2014 has been withdrawn with immediate effect following instructions from the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, the planning and authority,” the letter by Mr. Mwansa stated in part.
The letter was also copied to the director planning and chief building inspector informing them about the decision taken.
Mr. Mwansa on October 30th, 2014 wrote to the Ministry of Local Government informing them that the Lusaka City Council had revoked the planning permission given to the developer from undertaking any construction works in Kamwala.
This was after various stakeholders expressed concern about how the construction of shops could be allowed next to the main Bombay Drainage system which carries rain water from Misisi, Chawama, Kamwala to Thornpark before it finally flows in the Chongwe river.
Stakeholders among them traders expressed shock that the City Council could allocate land for construction of shops along the drainage, adding that the same piece of land houses the Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company water and sewer pipes and Zamtel communication cable underneath.
“This company applied for permit for the construction of shops on the land behind the Tazara House just meters away from the Bombay drainage and that permit was granted. However, we later received instructions from the Ministry of Local Government to revoke the permit because it was not in the best interest of the people of Zambia, which we did but we are shocked that a named some senior PF members working with other councillors advised this Chinese national to ignore the letter and continue with the construction,” said one of the council officials.
He explained that some time last year the council had received a petition to stop the construction and Mr. Mwansa wrote to the Chinese national ordering him to stop the works but early this month, the Chinese national continued with the construction of shops.
The official said the Minister of Local Government then Emmanuel Chenda directed that the construction should cease as it was not in the best interest of the City planning and residents.
“We are shocked that with impunity, this Chinese national on February 12, 2015 went ahead with the constructions.
What is disturbing is that PF cadres from the Intercity Bus terminus are the ones guarding the facility. This matter has even reached the office of the PF secretary general Mr. Davis Chama but nothing has been done to stop the rot,” said the council official.
Acting Lusaka City Council Mayor Potiphar Tembo could not comment on the matter saying he would wait for documents being referred to.