The Kabwe Municipal Council is saddened by the encroachment on land meant for the expansion of Mukobeko cemetery and has threatened to invoke the provisions of the law to demolish all the structures on it.
The council had planned to carry out the demolition exercise in the early hours March 13 but halted the exercise at the last minute and Mayor Richard Bango said the council had instituted investigations into how people acquired the land in question.
“Yes I can confirm there should have been demolitions but we have decided to halt it to pave way for investigations because while it is said that the land is earmarked for the expansion of the graveyard, there are some people who claim to have acquired the land legally,” said Mr. Bango who also warned against illegal acquisition of land.
The mayor said it was important for people to go to the council to verify ownership of land whenever they wanted to engage in land to avoid be duped by unscrupulous people masquerading as council workers.
Some of the people who have built structures in the graveyard have claimed that they were given the land by some named councillors and they see no reason why the council must now come and demolish them.
“Some of the councillors who sold the land to us are still in the council. We were once called to testify and we mentioned their names but we are surprised that again and again this issue comes up and we are threatened with eviction and demolition of our structures,” said a man only identified as Chanda.
Town Clerk Oliver Muuka expressed shock that while Kabwe had vast land which was being advertised for development, some people had decided to go and build their houses in the grave yard.
“We have abundant land which is being advertised for development and people are supposed to follow correct procedure in acquiring land.
‘‘As you have noted we have been advertising land in various parts of the town and we expect people to come to the council and apply for it legally, and it is culturally immoral to go and build in a grave yard, so why should people go to such an extent?” wondered Mr. Muuka.