There is corruption at the Lusaka City Council which must be stopped with immediate effect or else the Patriotic Front will lose the confidence of the people of Lusaka. Otherwise how do you explain that:
. On Friday the Council advertises in the Post newspaper the sale and disposal of Looters land.
. On Monday the land is allocated and paid for.
. On Tuesday a Councilor who questioned the sale is informed that the matter has been closed.
This is corruption. We dare the town clerk to deny that the land was advertised in the Post newspaper, one newspaper on Friday and was allocated 48 hours later and paid for in full. Is this true or not? If not, what was the sequence of sale?
Whatever the good intentions and whatever the wonderful development plan for the area, corruption should not be countenanced and all those involved must be exposed and dealt with firmly.
It is all the more reprehensible to learn that the properties whose disposal was meant to ameliorate the financial crisis confronting the council were in fact sold at give-away prices which did not meet the anticipated values that would have been achieved if auctioned in a transparent and open manner.
What is, however, shocking is the manner in which the Looters land has been dealt with. It is apparent from evidence in our possession and documentation since availed to us that the valuation did not include this property and that no full council meeting was ever held to discuss this particular matter before the land was finally disposed of.
It is not so much the disposal that concerns us but the manner in which this was done.
It is not so much the nationality and the character of the investor but indeed the manner in which that piece of land was valued and eventually disposed of.
We believe that the council should have obtained the full value of the land estimated at K4 billion. It is not clear and nobody has explained how much was paid for the land.
It is ridiculous to suggest that land has no value when top pocket prices are commanded for land on the outskirts of the city. It will also be important to determine the role that the Ministry of lands is playing in the illegal allocation of land, some of which is on title.
Cadres have been blamed for encroaching on land and yet senior civil servants at the Ministry of Lands are responsible for the sale of land that is already on title and whose owners are offered alternative land when such scandals are exposed.
If we had a proper and full functional Anti-Corruption Commission we would have requested that these issues be investigated to identify culprits who would be dealt with firmly but we have no such commission as criminals can pillage loot and steal with impunity even from the Bank of Zambia
With such a commission the rot at Lusaka city Council will only continue.
But we believe that a firm political stance is required to set an example so that those doing the same in Kabwe and Kitwe, selling land illegally, some of it intended for waterworks and other developments, should know that higher authorities will not countenance criminality.
The starting point is to determine how the Looters land in Lusaka was looted and indeed how titled land has been given away by officials at the Ministry of Lands.