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.