Demolished Houses
Demolished Houses

OVER 32 families in Lusaka’s Chinika light industrial area have been left homeless after an investor claiming ownership of the land executed a court order to remove them from the area and demolished their houses.

Tesno General Dealers, a Lusaka-based company, is claiming ownership of the land which is situated at stand number 12923 on Mumbwa Road.

The demolition was conducted by a team from the Office the Sheriff of Zambia and police.

According to the residents, police in riot gear sealed off Mumbwa Road and the entire area while a bulldozer demolished the houses around midnight on Wednesday.

The residents’ spokesperson Crispin Chanda said the properties belong to the Lusaka City Council (LCC) and the occupiers are legally occupying them.

Mr Chanda told the Zambia Daily Mail yesterday that they are not squatters and have appealed to Government to intervene in the matter.

He said it is unfair and inhuman of Tesno General Dealers to demolish the houses when there is a Supreme Court order stopping them from executing the August 27, 2014 High Court judgment ordering them to vacate the place.

“We are, therefore, appealing to President Lungu and the Minister of Local Government and Housing John Phiri to intervene in the matter. We have all the rights to be here and we will not go anywhere,” Mr Chanda said.

He said the families have been paying rent to LCC and only stopped in 2008 after the council told them to do so, with a promise of selling them the houses as sitting tenants.

He said the families have tenancy certificates from the municipality and are only awaiting offer letters for them to buy the properties.

Supreme Court judge Albert Wood ordered on April 29, this year, that the execution of the High Court judgment dated August 27, 2014, stayed pending the determination of the appeal against the decision.

This is according to an ex parte order to stay execution of the judgment pending appeal, dated April 29 this year availed to the Daily Mail.

And Lusaka Province commissioner of police Charity Katanga said that she is aware of the demolition of the houses.

Ms Katanga said police were contacted by the Sheriff’s office to police the eviction of the squatters.

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17 COMMENTS

  1. Only in zambia will such things happen. Sometimes you would think that perhaps there’s no Government because, how else can one describe this? What happens now to affected families?

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    • Please proceed to demolish illegal settlements in Ibex Hill, Lusaka West and Silverest areas, where there are court orders already in place. Let sanity and the rule of law be followed in land occupation in Lusaka.

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    • @Mwape Mbokeme, you are wrong this happens everywhere in the world. illegal settlement is hazards to healthy difficult to provide water, electricity, road network etc………………………………..

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    • The houses in question have been there since early 60s and they were the only buildings on the that of the road.The rest was just bush.How did the investor buy off the stand without considering the sitting tenants first?Something is smelling here.LCC should come out clean.

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  2. It’s not the end of the road. Stop mourning over the right decitions. This will deter the would be illegal building. It is high time people started to respect the law.

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  3. It’s not the end of the road. Stop mourning over the right decitions. This will deter the would be illegal builders. It is high time people started to respect the law.
    Besides those were not their houses. They were not given the right to buy the houses. The houses were on the plot that needed to be redeveloped by probably the plot owners. They knew that their stay was temporary.

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  4. Land is finito in Lusaka as they say but there is so much undeveloped land owned by someone. When ‘legal’ squatters move in, the owner takes time to chase them and then it comes to this.

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    • you are very right big gun…we Zambians are funny..you can hold an orange, throw it away, when someone picks it up to eat it, you start a fight, claim it and throw it away again…everyone loses…after demolishing those houses, i doubt if the owner will even use that place…they should have sat down to discuss a win win situation………

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    • Can I come and build a shack at your house, lets follow the law. Why stop at houses let people who need transport just grab whoever has more than 1 house.

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  5. Lord have mercy. How can one demolish people’s shelter especially during the cold season. Temperatures in Lusaka can get cold. Nomba Nabana pa mpepo?

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    • Well, across the river, Mugabe did it a few years ago in what was known as “Operation Muramba tsvina.” (Operation Remove the Junk). Our humble president said he is learning a lot from the man across the Zambezi. Surprise surprise!!!!

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  6. what is development if its not access to basic services and facilities? shelter, food, health and clothing are universally recognised as the basic inalienable rights of any human being. i shudder to think what some of these bloggers smoke before posting onto this platform. surely, the story states that this piece of land belongs to the state through the LCC who built houses there. so does this mean the houses were illegally built by LCC? this is yet another example of how incoherent our governments run their affairs. for all his shortcomings, KK’s UNIP was much more organised than both MMD and PF as parties in government. now the DMMU will have to come in – using the tax payers money and claim government cares for you. i feel for these families – especially children and women

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  7. the arricle does not purport to have the comments of the developer. Neither has tge author had sight if the Court proceedings.

    In all likelikhood Tesno has the Certificate of Title and is therefore the absolute owner.

    We must learn to respect the rule of law. Most of Chinika has been invaded by illegal squatters usually at the behest of cadres. MMD cadres were very active in forcing themselves onto titled land and selling portions off to innocent and poor people. PF has done well to uphold the law and not try populist electioneering. If you have no title deed you are not the owner.

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  8. Very confusing story. If they are illegal structures, how come they used to pay rent for them to LCC, which they stopped when they were promised to buy them as sitting tenants? What type of structures were built there, please clarify? Was it self built by the settlers or proper houses built by the council, then sold to one investor?

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    • Simple someone at LCC is corrupt (eating in the field he works in), that is how the rentals were being paid. ALL the illegal shanties around Lusaka came into existence in this same manner. Ward chairman, counselor whatever their called thats how they roll etc

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  9. I blame the useless town planners for this mess.Where were these fools when all this was happening….I mean if we had town planners we wouldnt have all this rubbish of squaters…..

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  10. This is good because Zambia has become a lawless state; more of this should be done to send a strong warning to law breakers. Next should be vendors who occupy shop verandahs and streets and trade illegally without licences.

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