Peasant and small scale farmers squatting on the former Kitwe City Council (KCC) farm land are living in fear of being evicted from the area because some rich people working in connivance with some alleged corrupt officers at the council are planning to remove them from the land.
The squatters have since appealed to President Edgar Lungu to intervene in the matter and ensure that no squatter in the area was evicted.
Speaking on Wednesday during the meeting with Kitwe District Commissioner (DC) Chanda Kabwe at the council farm, the squatters led by chairman Innocent Lubuli, said council officers working with suspected rich people were planning to drive away the squatters from the land as evidenced by the putting of beacons in farms owned by squatters.
But Mr Kabwe said the government of President Edgar Lungu would not allow rich people to evict the poor squatters from the land because it was their source of living and warned council officers involved to stop.
Mr Lubuli said while it was true that they were squatters, it was not fair for rich people working with council workers to drive them away from the council farm where they have been cultivating food to feed themselves.
He said that small scale farmers in the area were appealing to President Lungu to stop the greedy people from invading the council farm, but instead give it to them.
“We have been living on this land for many years now, but we are living in fear of being evicted because some rich people working with some corrupt council officers want to drive us away from this land. They are coming here to put beacons on our farms.
“So, we called you, Mr Kabwe as our DC so that we can complain to you and send our message to President Lungu so that he can intervene and stop these greedy and selfish individuals from carrying out their evil actions. We want the President to give us this land. We also want to be empowered with this land,” Mr Lubuli said.
Mr Kabwe said the PF government of President Lungu was a pro-poor government and would not sit back and watch greedy and selfish individuals displace the poor squatters from the land.
He said he would take the matter to President Lungu whom he was sure would respond positively to the cries of the squatters.
“I know President Lungu will not just let you down, but he will respond to your cries because he has the heart for the poor people. I can assure you that the government of President Lungu will not allow rich people to evict the poor squatters from the land because land is their source of living.
“Let me also warn my fellow workers who are involved in corrupt practices aimed at depriving the poor that they should stop or else they will face the wrath of the law,” Mr Kabwe said