OPPOSITION UPND mayoral candidate for Kalulushi Daudi Simama has said once elected on August 11, he will lobby government to de-gazette Chati forest and develop it into an agricultural area which will turn Kalulushi into a food basket.
Mr Simama said a lot of people have been living in Chati forest as squatters and so if he was elected mayor, he would ensure that the forest was de-gazetted to become a farming area.
He said he wanted squatters to become the rightful owners of the land which they could develop for various agricultural purposes.
Mr Simama said in an interview in Kitwe that he was sure that if given land in Chati forest, the squatters would put it to good use and contribute to poverty alleviation and food security.
“If elected mayor on August 11, I will address land issues in Kalulushi. There are people who have been called squatters for more than 30 years in Chati forest area. So I will lobby government to de-gazette the area and develop it into an agricultural place which will turn Kalulushi into a food basket,” he said.
Mr Simama said apart from working on land issues, he would also work on rehabilitating schools which were in a deplorable state with some without desks.
He said schools such as Kawama whose classorooms had no roofs and desks would be worked on during his tenure.
“Once elected mayor, I am also looking at rehabilitating schools whose roofs were blown off by heavy rains and have no desks.
I can tell you that schools such as Kawama in Chisango area have no roof and desks. So I will work on these issues,” Mr Simama said.
He said he would also deal with the problem of contaminated water in Mwambashi river where a named mining company was allegedly polluting the drinking water for residents in the area.
Mr Simama said mining companies which contaminate drinking water should be dealt with firmly.