10 November 2017

Zambia: Kitwe Farmer Demolishes 5 Houses Belonging to Squatters

A commercial farmer in Kitwe's Twalima Farm bloc has demolished over five illegal houses in his area.

The farmer, who has been identified as Nsama Mulenga, shocked peasant farmers when he moved in with a group of youths that demolished the structures without prior notices to the squatters.

The group of youths allegedly removed properties in the houses before demolishing the structures.

Squatters were left in shock when they found their structures demolished.

"He came with group of people who forced their way in the houses and removed property before demolishing the structures" an eye witness narrated.

The affected acknowledged being squatters but were disappointed that houses were being demolished without prior notice.

"Yes we are squatters but we have engaged the local leadership on this matter, The Mayor as well as the area Councillor are aware of this issue and we have been waiting that it be resolved because it was brought to their attention," one of the affected squatters said.

She said, Kitwe Mayor Christopher Kang'ombe had visited the area and promised to resolve the issue after engaging all the affected parties.

"This issue is not new it has existed for years, some of us have been here since 1985 and for someone to just come and demolish our structures like this, it is very shocking, yes we know he has a title deed but after engaging the local leadership we expected a better understanding," she added.

However, the action that has left families homeless, attracted the attention of Kitwe Mayor Christopher Kang'ombe who visited the area.

Kang'ombe gave a background stating that "the land in question was owned by ZCCM as a subdivision of the farm 541/M. Squatters occupied the land as far back as 1980 in Kitwe as you are heading to Mufulira. ZCCM decided in the late 90's to subdivide the 385 hectares farm into ten farms to ZCCM employees while land was occupied by the 135 squatters and their families."

He said the council has been facilitating engagements between squatters and the farm owners but was left shocked after learning that five houses have been demolished by one of the farm owners.

Kang'ombe said the local authority has engaged all the affected parties with close supervision of the area councillor Mpasa Mwaya.

Emergency relief such as food supplies and temporary accommodation has been provided to the affected families.

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