OMUTHIYAGWIIPUNDI - The CEO of Katima Mulilo town council, Raphael Liswaniso, has described
the situation of community members living in deplorable conditions without basic services
as temporary. The land issue in Katima Mulilo of the Zambezi region has reached a crisis stage where communities have taken it upon themselves to grab land, asserting that council has been failing to service and provide plots.
However, Liswaniso says the situation is being addressed as council is planning to service more
than 3 000 plots, which he believes will cater for the land grabbers and those renting. The CEO was
responding to a New Era query that council recently dumped people in the wilderness without proper roads, clean drinking water, electricity and sewerage systems.
There are approximately over 160 who were relocated from Macaravan, Mahohoma and Cowboy to an area near Diary informal settlement, some 500 hundred metres from the graveyard. While those at
Lwanyanda have stayed put, Liswaniso says they too will be relocated with time.
“These are land grabbers we are talking about, and where we moved them there was no such
services they are demanding now. Council has taken note of that and plans are already in place
to provide services, but under the economic circumstances we are unable to provide everything
at once. I can however say that council provided a 10 000-litre tanker which is being filled twice
a day,” said Liswaniso.
He added that they have cleared streets where they intend constructing proper roads. He blamed the delays on the land grabbers, saying they settled in areas that were planned for servicing hence with their
presence the council has been finding it difficult to carry out such activities.
“For example, the group that was relocated settled at an area where a school was planned to be
built, so we had to move them to pave way for the development. We will slowly address the land issue
if the community cooperates. At the moment there is no way we can provide services to someone
that has illegally occupied land. In addition, the 160 people have now each been given plots measuring
300m². So they should be patient, services are coming.”
Me anwh i l e, Popu l a r Democratic Movement youth league secretary in Zambezi, Novic Mbeha, had a different version as he described the conditions as hazardous, saying something urgent should be done
or else the masses will soon revolt.
“We understand they had grabbed land, but dumping them in the bush with no basic services
is wrong. We have school-going children but the area is inaccessible because there are no proper
roads, no sanitation as well. They should have considered this before moving the people. These people
had cleaned the area they were chased from, so why can’t council do the least, now they have given
that land to private developers,” fumed Mbeha.
2019-10-22 06:49:40 | 26 days ago