Suspended councillors disqualified – activist

 

COUNCILLORS at the Kitwe City Council (KCC) who have been suspended for alleged illegal sale of land should not apply to be adopted for any political position because they are still under investigation, Kitwe District Land Alliance (KDLA) board chairperson Mpenza Mwanza has said.

But Luangwa ward councillor Evaristo Chilufya said the suspension was slapped on the council, and not on individual councillors, adding that everyone was innocent until proven guilty.

Ms Mwanza said councillors who have been suspended for illegal sale of land were currently being investigated and so should not aspire for any political position until they were cleared of the allegations levelled against them.

She said in an interview in Kitwe yesterday that the main reason for suspending the councillors was to investigate them and so they should not be in a hurry to apply for adoptions to stand as councillors or members of Parliament (MP) but should patiently wait for the outcome of the investigations.

“Well, for me, I don’t think it is right for those suspended councillors to apply for adoptions as councillors or MPs because they are still being investigated over allegations of illegal sale of land. I mean they should not be in a hurry to aspire for certain positions, but should wait patiently to be cleared of the allegations levelled against them,” Mr Mwanza said.

Another land rights activist, Archie Mulunda, said it was wrong for suspended councillors to apply for re-adoption before they could be cleared of their allegations of illegal sale of land.

He said even if such kind of councillors were to be re-adopted, they would not have the confidence of the people because their names would have already been dented by the allegations of illegal sale of land.

“You think a person who is known to be involved in the illegal sale of land and obtaining money on false pretences can have the respect of the people? Obviously not. That person will not be respected. So even these councillors who have been suspended for illegal sale of land should not apply for re-adoption”.

A number of suspended councillors at the Kitwe City Council are reportedly to have applied for re-adoption, while others have applied to stand as MPs. But Mr Chilufya said the suspension was slapped on the council and not on individual councillors.

Mr Chilufya, who has applied for re-adoption in Luangwa ward, said even some individuals who have cases before the courts, have in the past applied for adoption as MPs.

“It is the council which was suspended and not individual councillors. You haven’t seen a situation where a politician has a case before the courts of law, but goes ahead to apply to stand as an MP? In any case, every one is innocent until proven guilty,” said Mr Chilufya.

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