SOLWEZI Municipal Council has leased out land which the North-Western Provincial Agricultural Show Society was using for agricultural shows.
But the show society has protested the council move and is demanding K2.5 million to whichh the local authority has since agreed to pay as compensation .
Solwezi Municipal Council acting town clerk Justine Mbashila told the Daily Nation that the council sold the land to a developer for construction of the district’s first shopping mall.
“The developer has already begun construction on the land which was used for hosting the provincial and district agricultural show,” Mr Mbashila said.
He said the council has offered the show society a total of 100 hectares in Mitukutuku area as compensation for the five hectares grabbed from them.
The acting town clerk said of the 100 hectares, 50 hectares were set aside for the District Agricultural Show Society while the other 50 hectares for the provincial show society.
“The provincial show society has however declined the offer of land but have proposed to be given the land and K 2.5 million from the sale,” he said.
Provincial Agricultural Show Society chairman Amos Watambwa confirmed the offer from the council but maintained that the society will only accept the land and a total of K 2.4 million as settlement.
“The five hectares currently under development is under the Ministry of Agriculture but is maintained and utilized by the show society, hence the need for compensation,” Mr Watambwa said.
He said it was wrong for the council to claim land that was not under their jurisdiction.
Mr Watambwa said the society will incur various costs by moving the venue to an undeveloped location.
“We will need to clear the land and make it suitable for use, and all these are costs on our part,” he said.
Mr Watambwa called on the council to process the payments speedily in order to give the society enough time to adequately prepare for the next agricultural show.
This year’s 54th provincial agricultural, mining, industrial and commercial show was held at a temporal venue in the district sports stadium