OVER 200 Kanyama residents have appealed to Lusaka Province Minister Obvious Mwaliteta to intervene in a matter in which a named businessman has threatened to demolish a community school and some houses which were allegedly built on his land.
The residents said the community was against the demolition of the school because it was serving more than 350 orphans and vulnerable children who could go on the streets if the demolition order comes into effect.
Speaking on behalf of the residents, Thomson Mwale said the community was against the demolition of the school on grounds that more than 350 children would stop schooling.
He said the True Gospel Community School was built with the support from Diplomatic Spouses Association who now provided free shoes, uniforms and food to the school children from Kanyama, Chibolya and John Laing.
The residents said it was not fair that the community was intimidated whenever they wanted to come with issues of development for the future of the vulnerable pupils who could not afford to be sent to other schools.
They said demolishing the school would adversely affect the already poor communities and also see a number of pupils getting back on the streets, a situation that should be avoided at all costs.
Mr Mwale said Children Concern, the organisation that runs True Gospel Community School, bought the 40m X 40m plot from the Resident Development committee of the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy in 2011.
“We bought this plot from the Resident Development Committee of the MMD in 2011 and we went further to process documents at Lusaka City Council and we have been paying ground rates, and just last month, we were surprised to receive a court demolition order for the school and some houses and we are living in fear because any time this school will be razed down,” he said.
The residents appealed to the minister to facilitate the cancelation of the title, saying the whole community should not suffer because of an individual.
And Mr Mwaliteta assured the residents that the Government through the Ministry of Lands would engage the alleged owner of the land in a bid to find alternative land for him to avoid inconveniencing the pupils who would be affected in the process.
He further appealed to Lusaka residents to avoid building houses on illegally acquired land, saying the effects of doing so were so costly and retrogressive to their economic development.
Mr Mwaliteta cautioned people involved in illegal land allocation to stop because the Government would not support such vices.