EVERYONE wants land and it seems there isn’t enough of it in urban areas.
People are looking for land in all sorts of places and even where they should know better than try to grab land.
Police camps are state property and for security reasons that is why even houses located there are all institutional houses belonging to the government.
It is therefore flabbergasting that some cadres could even dare to start allocating plots in a Police camp.
Where do they get the courage to try something like this? Even the people who live in these camps know better than to lay claim to the land because that is not public land open to just anyone.
What is shocking is that the Lusaka City Council had dared to approve plots on such land in the first place. It is a good thing that this shameful decision was reversed promptly after an outcry from the public.
It boggles the mind that the city authorities had even thought to pass a full council resolution to the extent of allocating plots in a police camp – land that is reserved for future expansion programmes for the Police.
This is keeping in mind that police need more space as the number of officers increases and the need for office space and living quarters also goes up.
It also just doesn’t make sense that civilians would want to take up residence inside or adjacent to a police camp.
As the demand for land increases, the government needs to find more land to give to the public in need.
We are not saying that political cadres do not deserve to own land. They do and it would be fair if land was found to give to the youth and women interested in farming. And perhaps it is time to start looking beyond urban areas for free land.
The Ministry of Youth and other line ministries could perhaps negotiate with some traditional leaders to get land that could be given to the many youths clamouring to enter the farming sector.
What is wrong is to enter a police camp, as was the case at the Emmasdale area, a development that for obvious reasons, did not sit well with the Matero Member of Parliament, Mr Lloyd Kaziya.
Mr Kaziya has since warned cadres to refrain from encroaching on land in police camps, saying anyone found wanting would be arrested without hesitation.
He has in no uncertain terms, ordered for a stop of any construction and sharing of plots. He has warned that unlike the other Emmasdale situation where he is awaiting the Attorney General’s advise before effecting demolition of road reserve encroachments, he was ready to raze any structures that cadres put up in the police camp.
All this could be avoided if local authorities consult before allocating land which does not belong to the council.
This is just creating unnecessary conflict between the MP and the cadres who may feel that the former was being too harsh by stopping their illegal construction and plot sharing.
Hopefully, all is well that ends well. Let the council find land for the youth in some of the neighbouring traditional areas so that if indeed they want land, they would get it.