Families in the cold as PF official sells land

ABOUT 20 families, who are squatting in the Zesco Pole line in Sand Sales area of Itimpi Township of Kitwe, have been left in the cold after the area  councilor Andrew Simwanza sold the land in which they were expected to be re-settled.
The Patriotic Front (PF) councilor, who is believed to be illiterate and  the only language he  can speak fluently is Namwanga, is alleged to have sold more than 40  hectares of land to people from areas such as Chimwemwe, Riverside and  other parts of the city leaving the poor people in the area with nothing.
PF Sand Sales Branch Chairman Chandwe Musonda said most of the squatters  in the area were PF cadres, but were shocked that the area councilor had ignored them and turned the illegal sale of land into a money spinning  venture.
Mr Musonda was speaking in Sand Sales area during the  meeting which was held by the squatters to express their increasing  concern over the rampant illegal sale of land being perpetrated by the  councilor.

“Councilor Simwanza has sold more than 40 hectares of land here and he has bought two vehicles  from the illegal sale of land. When we supported and voted for PF, we  were not voting so that people like Simwanza can come and sell land so that they become rich.
“We thought things would improve, but things are getting worse under PF than they  were during the MMD time. At least, during the time of MMD, the  councilors tried their best to fight for this land.
“If they were here now, am sure things would have been different. We really regret  voting for Mr Simwanza. If we had known that this is the way  things would be, we would not have voted for him.
“We are living as if we are foreigners in our own country just because we  don’t have money. Now the place where we were supposed to be settled has been given to other people, where are we going to go? ,” said Mr  Musonda.
Mr Musonda said the councilor was working in collaboration with some  council officers in the illegal sale of land in the area and that so far four council officers had since been given pieces of land in the area.
He said council officers identified as Kunka, Mulenga, Bwalya and Musa  were some of the people who were working with the councilor and had  since been allocated pieces of land in the area.
He said the councilor had even suspended him for one week for speaking against his activities of illegal sale of land.
“Myself, where i am, i was suspended for one week for telling the councilor to  stop the illegal sale land. He told me to apologize, but i refused, then he added another one week on my suspension, but i don’t worry,” He  said.
Others squatters in the area who  identified themselves as Fabian Mulenga and Edward Chibale, who is PF  vice-branch chairman for Sand Sales, said the councilor had created   confusion in the area and that if PF was a serious party should  discipline him so that he stops the confusion.
Mr Chibale said the people in the area needed land where they could grow  food to feed themselves, but now that the councilor had sold the piece  of land which was earmarked for their settlement, they felt like they were refugees in their own country.
He said, apart from the issue of Sand Sales, the councilor had also  grabbed the land belonging to the Programme for Urban Self Help (PUSH)  where the Non-governmental Organization (NGOs) wanted to construct a  youth training and recreation centre.
He said the councilor has a record of illegal sale of land and it was important that the party discipline him.

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