Emmasdale residents are up in arms with the Lusaka City Council (LCC) over its decision to block a road reserve opposite Kapoche Road with a view of selling the plot to a developer.
Residents have complained that council officers have been conniving with their counterparts from the Ministry of Lands to sell the land in unexplained circumstances.
But the move ,has not gone down well with the residents who have vowed to stop LCC in its tracks, and have described the play as reckless disregard of the consequences of such clandestine activities on the community.
On Monday evening, the irate residents swung into action to question a surveyor who was spotted around the area demarcating the land reserved for a road.
A surveying officer at the Ministry of Lands, told the residents that he had been sent to look at the piece of land by his superiors.
The residents told the Daily Nation that they were alerted of the presence of the surveyor on a plot they regarded as a road and that the prompted them to find out what he was doing there.
“On Monday 27th July, 2015 at around 17:00 hrs, a Toyota Ipsum, of a known registration number, pulled over and a man started working on the stretch and this made us go over to him to find out what was happening.
“ This man arrogantly told us he was a surveyor who had been sent to work on the piece of land by his superiors. We reprimanded him because there was no way someone could survey a road stretch with a view to create a plot.
“We got his name and asked for the name of his superior. He was jittery, but with the help of some senior residents, he gave us the details we needed before we grabbed a copy of the documents he had. According to the drawings, the road was approved to become a plot on 29th April, 2015 and was marked as plot number 902687,” one of the residents explained.
The residents accused some LCC officers of using underhand methods to illegally allocate pieces of land in the area in order to make money.
“In Emmasdale and Matero, land grabbing is rampant as plots are illegally being created. There is rampant creation of plots on roads, side roads and drainages, including under electrical power lines and this is perpetrated by officers from the council and the Ministry of Lands. That is why sometimes there may be two or three people claiming ownership of the same piece of land,” the source said.
The residents complained that the past five years have been characterised by council employees frequenting the area to create plots for private individuals, while in some cases land that was earmarked for community developmental projects such as halls, swimming pools, study centres and other recreational facilities had been sacrificed for personal gain.
Meanwhile, the Daily Nation has been told that a portion of the Chimukoko Road had also been demarcated and given to an Indian national to develop.
A spot-check revealed that the stretch has been cleared from one wall fence of existing structure to the other on either side of the road with a big sign post forbidding people from dumping garbage there. It is also the same situation at the Kabwe-Vubu road junction where a piece of land is alleged to have been illegally sold to one of the ward councillors who is putting up a hardware store over the drainage. LCC Town Clerk Alex Mwansa and director at the City Planning department could not be immediately reached for a comment.