19 December 2012

Zambia: Nortec Land Sequel - Students Block Surveyor

Students at Northern Technical College (NORTEC) on Monday confiscated equipment from a consultant who attempted to conduct surveys at the learning institution's disputed piece of land.

The land in question, which houses the Nortec sports grounds, has become a subject of a heated ownership wrangle with Phoenix Property Investment which is already planning to put up a shopping mall.

The consultant Ailola Maimbolwa, who was acting on behalf of Phoenix Property Investment, arrived at NORTEC around 12:00 hours only to have his equipment confiscated even before he could set about doing his work.

After intercepting the surveyor, the students reported the matter to Kansenshi Police Station whose officer in charge quickly arrived on the scene and ordered the students to return the equipment to the surveyor.

Nortec Students Union vice-president Isaac Banda said while the students willingly let go of the surveyor's equipment, the action taken by Phoenix Property Investment was provocative because the controversy surrounding the land had not been resolved.

"As students we see the decision of sending surveyors on the disputed land as an act of provocation.

"That is trespassing, we don't want Phoenix to continue sending surveyors," he said.

Mr Banda was accompanied by resident coordinator Merphine Munkombwe and publicity secretary Tiyane Zimba.

NORTEC principal Victor Mulenga confirmed the incident, saying he advised the students that they had no authority to confiscate the equipment.

Mr Mulenga said the police also advised the surveyor to desist from carrying out any activities on the disputed piece of land as it could potentially incite the students.

Last week, Education Minister John Phiri said the disputed land belongs to NORTEC and directed the Commissioner of Lands to resolve the matter conclusively.

The land initially belonged to Zamtel that sold it to Zamstars Football Club.

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