By BENNIE MUNDANDO
THE Ministry of Lands has been implicated in a mega land scandal involving eight residential plots in Lusaka’s Roma area which were wrestled from the rightful owners and given to an Insurance Company and a named foreigner without the knowledge of the council.
The eight, led by PF’s Mumbwa central parliamentary hopeful in the 2016 elections, Danny Matembo, sought to buy the idle land along Kiola road in Roma in 2010 and engaged the council to demarcate the plots.
As a matter of procedure, the issue was tabled before the Lusaka City Council plans, Works and Development Committee (WDC) meeting on 17th February, 2011 where it was resolved and recommended that the proposed creation of eight residential plots needed go ahead and that the approved layout plan be numbered by the Surveyor General. The plots were numbered.
The recommendation was then made to a council meeting held on 11th March, 2011 at which it was agreed that the proposed creation of eight plots in Roma be accepted and adopted.
Due to procedural delays, the eight only manged to get a copy of the numbered site plan with eight plots numbering from 38368 to 38375 from the Ministry of lands on 5th February, 2014 and that is when it was discovered that plots were given to other people, which included a foreigner, Felix Yona of NRC no. 992225/11/2 while four others were given to an Insurance company.
When the eight went to the site to check on what was happening, they were reported to Chelstone police for criminal stress pass by a Mr. Luwabelwa and Majumo Khunga who claimed that they bought the pieces of land from Natasha Chisenga (daughter to former Mayor of Lusaka Daniel Chisenga) and Mr. Yona, the foreigner.
In his report dated 18th November, 2016 after investigating the matter, deputy criminal investigations officer at Chelstone police station, a Mr. J.M Kamfwa said Mr. Matembo and seven others had authentic and genuine documents and followed laid down procedure to acquire the said pieces of land.
Mr. Kamfwa said the complainants failed to make available the title holders whom they claimed had bought the land from to help ascertain the procedure they used in acquiring the pieces of land and directed that the two parties needed to present their issue at the commissioner of lands to resolve the matter.
After realising that they did not have a case with the commissioner of lands, the eight new claimants allegedly rushed to the Ministry of Lands to set the records straight with the help of some officials to legalise their claims. According to printouts obtained from the ministry, the documents purport that Mr. Yona was given title to the land on 11th May, 2015 and that the same plot was offered for sale three days later with Barnaby & Chitundu Advocates as caveators while Mr. Luwabelwa and a Tendai Muzokela were potential buyers.