GOVERNMENT has warned that it will continue demolishing houses built on illegally acquired land and those affected should not expect sympathy and compensation from the State, Lands and Natural Environment Minister Christabel Ngimbu has said.
She said her ministry in collaboration with the Zambia Police and the local authorities were following up and taking inventory of all illegal plots and that the owners should not blame Government when their illegal properties were demolished.
Mrs Ngimbu told journalists yesterday that the culture of cadres illegally obtaining plots and demarcating it for sale to unsuspecting buyers should come to an end because Government did not want to promote illegality.
Mrs Ngimbu said those who were in the habit of acquiring land illegally risked their houses being demolished without compensation.
She stated that her ministry was receiving a lot of reports of illegal land acquisition through party cadres and that Government was seriously following up the matter so that the vice could be stopped permanently.
Mrs Ngimbu said it was more expensive to acquire plots illegally because properties developed from such land often end up demolished and the affected people lose their money apart from getting inconvenienced.
Ms Ngimbu warned party cadres involved in acquiring plots illegal, and demarcating it for sale that they would be arrested by the police and prosecuted.
She said the rampant grabbing and selling of land by cadres should be stopped because such acts were criminal and would not be condoned by Government.
Ms Ngimbu said while it was saddening that some people had their houses demolished because they were built on land that was illegally acquired, it was important for citizens to follow the law in getting land from local authorities or the Ministry of Lands.
“We have been following up illegal activities in the manner land is being administered across the country. Acquiring plots illegally is criminal and whoever is involved will be arrested and prosecuted. We have been working in collaboration with the Zambia Police and the local authorities.
Let those who have illegal plots know that we shall continue demolishing their houses and there shall be no sympathy and compensation from Government. The police will also be arresting party cadres who are in the habit of illegally selling land and we shall make sure that such illegal activities are brought to an end,” she said.
Councils across the country have been demolishing houses built on illegal land leaving many families in the cold.
Recently, the Lusaka City Council demolished houses in Chalala and Garden Township where many families are still living in tents.