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Alba Iulia
Thursday, May 28, 2020

Government defends Lusaka City Council over sale of Parks to Private Investors

Headlines Government defends Lusaka City Council over sale of Parks to Private Investors


Local Government and Housing Minister Dr. John Phiri has dispelled allegations that Lusaka City Council (LCC) illegally sold nurseries and play parks in the City to private investors.

This follows allegations that LCC sold the Looters Basketball playing field in Lusaka’s Libala area to a Chinese investor at a cost of K12.1 million.

Dr Phiri told Parliament yesterday that there was no irregularities in the sale of the said area as the Council followed correct procedures. The area had many land uses, which included the proposed use.

Members of Parliament questioned Government over the alleged illegal sale of nursery and play parks by the Lusaka City Council, (LCC).

LCC is alleged to have, among others, sold Looters Basketball playing field in Lusaka’s Libala area to a Chinese investor at a cost of K12.1 million.

PF Chongwe MP Sylvia Masebo, in a question for oral answer, asked the Local Government and Housing Minister, John Phiri, whether he was aware that the LCC had recently sold most, if not all, the nursery and play parks to private developers.

She also wanted to know the rationale for disposing of such important public property.

However, Dr Phiri explained to the House that the council followed procedure in disposing of the properties in question.

Local Government and Housing deputy Minister Nicholas Banda earlier told the House that Libala Plot 20435 also known as Looters had remained unused for a long period and the LCC released five hectares of the land to a Chinese company known as Hangfeng.

The company would build a shopping complex, an amusement, basketball and tennis coats.

Dr Phiri said procedure was followed because the area was originally designated for mixed land use and the sale would protect the land from encroachment and boost revenue for the Council.

Ms Masebo also said a nursery situated near State House had been sold but Dr Phiri responded that the issue was still under contention in the courts of law.

Mazabuka Central UPND MP Gary Nkombo asked whether it was Government’s programme to continue leasing botanical gardens and play parks while his Mafinga counterpart Catherine Namugala wondered if Government had investigated the issue of other properties being sold by the LCC.

MMD Mumbwa MP Brian Chituwo asked why it was not necessary for the Council to consult the Government when it disposed of the property and changed land use.

PF Nkana MP Luxon Kazabu asked Government to confirm whether the land was sold and some councilors and some management staff shared the proceeds of the sale.

Dr Phiri said there was no record that some people benefitted from the sale. Dr Phiri explained that the land in question was previously seven hectares and two hectares of the land had since been sold.

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    • This shows you that us Zambians we do not like reading. Where were all these people when this land was advertised for comments in the Newspaper way back in April? 60 days no comment or concerns, now you want to complain? by the way the lease is for multi development and it will include the same basketball and tennis court you are crying about.

    • While the comment about reading is true, the manner in which the adverts were placed was done to avoid a lot of people know about the sales. For example, the offer letter for the Mwatusanga Road plots had dates that pointed to ad having run for about 3 weeks. But the reality was that it only appeared in for the last 2 days before closing date. Meanwhile, those that had contacts within the council had heard of the sale and obtained offer letters. In addition, it was so conspicuously structured and placed that one could easily miss it.

      Senior people in Government benefited from these transactions. The Minister being part of that Government has to defend the sale on account of collective responsibility. He cannot therefore, break ranks and say that things were not handled properly.

  1. PF, please consult people before selling off properties like play parks. That is all people are asking for. We would also like to know how much these properties where sold and what the monies where used for

  2. The other question that begs clarity is who the beneficiaries were as the sale seems not to have been open tender. Being public parks the developers should have provided plans that the developments would still address the earlier intended purposes of these parks to continue being of benefit to the surrounding community.

    On a lighter note: “The company would build a shopping complex, an amusement, basketball and tennis COATS.”

  3. If the sale was not advertised,then i smell a rat. Ba PF don’t auction the country. You will not rule forever.

  4. I think there is nothing wrong for the council to lease out idle land for proper development and job creation. MMD wasted 20 years without much development. I am impressed with the current government., within four years in power a lot of things have been done and achieved . So leave them to do the work

  5. Great name. Looters park indeed!

    Not long ago, the Council was singing about Lusaka being the “garden city” but now rushes to sell what little green space there is to the Chinese.

  6. the recent tour of eastern province by the local government minister John Phiri gave me the impression, he is not as hard working as some pipo claim. he lacks basic understanding of grassroot operations and systems.
    john phiri took a swipe at council management employees that will try to fight their council secretaries even when he knows these officers were corruptly and through nepotism put into offices by the fired local government commissioners in particular simpokolwe.

    it is the reason pf lost a ward election in lundazi to upnd coz of the way council is run. john phiri cant understand all these issues coz he lacks grassroot analysis

    john phiri is the wrong minister of local government

  7. “The company would build a shopping complex, an amusement, basketball and tennis coats. …”
    Sure ba LT how is it tennis courts or tennis coats?….pwaaaa!

  8. Somebody please help, some areas along Kabwe road in Lusaka are load sheded every day with Zesco citing overloads on the line. Surely this is inconviniencing, it is unbearable, please twachula pafula. Imagine a power outage literally every day. If you call the Zesco call center, all you get is very uncordinated answers with them insisting there is an over load on the line. Every day, surely??? Imagine the pressure of their increased load shedding and then coupled with the daily switching off in the evening citing over load on the line. Please somebody hear us, we need help.

    • Same for parts of Chalala adjacent to Yumba Yanga. Daily during the day they say there is urgent maintenance then in the evening it is scheduled load shedding! I feel like kicking some *ss! It is getting worse.

  9. We ust have a bunch of *****s running the affairs of our country. This is why I hated FTJ because he and his cabinet of the Sata, Nawakwi etc brought about this horrendous idea of just selling public property with impunity. Just how in their right state of mind sale every playing parks? Then you wonder why our children end up doing illicit things after school. Libraries have also been sold and you hardly find anything for the young. The Chinese will turn that place into a construction site period!

  10. Sata said that he has us-eless ministers and this is one of them. Where this this fellow buy his doctorate? Is he another A Phiri Anabwera? these are crooks wwho have all shared in the loot of the land or parks. Why din’t they lease the land instead of selling prime land in the city to foreigners? the next GRZ administration should investigate these crooks. no wonder they want to cancel the 2016 elections. But we are watching and an uprising is coming

  11. This the same council complaint that they have no property for revenue generation, yet they are selling off idle parks, I still can’t believe the whole council does not have pipo who can put together a business plan to get a loan to develop the place so it remains council property to generate funds.

    • Believe it Patrick, we have a bunch of elected pricks without brains running the affairs of the councils. Remember these are people who may not even understand how the local authority works, for them it is time to make money before their terms expires. Chabulanda saana!

  12. This subject started with a Chengala and the Post newspaper. As usual, no research was done and now the truth has come out. Imagine the confusion all this has caused, and how many more such lies are there and the extent of the damage caused?

    • were the residents consulted ?? pipo only knew about the sale when it was reported by the mentioned media, in a normal country free of corruption residents are asked for input on how to develop the land for the benefit of the community and why sell, you mean the whole of lusaka city council cant put together a business plan to get a loan and the property remains council property for the benefit of the residents ?

  13. Its a good idea they have sold it for development. The land was idle. It was being used for sand selling and block making. These people were not even paying anything to the council. The basket ball pitch was not being maintained, the placed just looked deserted. I am for the idea we dont have a good shopping complex in Libala. Chawama is busy developing.

    • you need to sack the whole lusaka city council if they can not come up with a plan for the land other than to sell.

  14. What is Masebo talking? Has she forgotten the sale she instigated along Addis Ababa drive round about when she was a local government minister…!

  15. If GRZ were serious about fighting corruption they should investigate who got the 10 or 15% sales commission that these Chinese pay. There was more interest in selling then keeping the land for the benefit of Zambians

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