CONTROVERSY surrounding the sale of five hectares of land in Lusaka’s Libala on which the famous Looters Basketball and tennis court are located has taken a new twist with Libala Ward 7 Councillor Emmanuel Chanda revealing that there has never been an approval for the sale of the council property.
Mr Chanda has since petitioned Lusaka Mayor to halt any transactions to establish what really happened.
He said there were a lot of inconsistencies in the process which could have led to the sale of the piece of land were sold off, especially that the decision was confirmed outside the normal channel of council business.
Mr Chanda said the processes used did not allow for public participation which the residents have refused to accept, as they were not consulted.
“I have petitioned the Mayor of Lusaka to halt all activities surrounding the development plans for the said five hectares of land which included the Looters Basketball Court until all questions are answered.
“There were a lot of inconsistencies in the manner the property was sold off and the residents have asked me to get to the bottom of all this and find out the truth about the whole matter,” he said.
Earlier, the Lusaka City Council (LCC) Town Clerk Alex Mwansa explained that the decision to sale of stand No. Lus/20435 Yotum Muleya road land followed assessments of the property which was under-utilized and lacked renovation due to financial challenges the Council was experiencing.
Mr Mwansa said the sale was approved by the April 13 full council meeting.
But Mr Chanda said the council minutes were still not yet approved and wondered how the committees concerned undertook to approve the sale and conditions thereof of a suitable developer.
“How was the decision arrived at when the council minutes have not been approved? And how did the committee sit to look at the items in a document not yet approved, to table the terms of reference for the developer?” he questioned.
The Minister of Local Government and Housing Dr John Phiri has demanded a report on the alleged sale of council properties around the capital city, and a report was submitted to his office last week.
The council said report included all other assets claimed to be non-performing as they did not provide value addition to the local authority.
Some councillors have dubiously sold off some council property and pocketed the money, which has riled residents.
Some individuals have title to some LCC property despite the local authority having no record of sale at the Civic Centre.