THE land scam has surfaced in Chingola where more than 50 acres of land have allegedly been allocated to relatives and friends of councillors and council employees displacing about 90 families.
Five councillors have allegedly been implicated in the scandal and the law enforcement agencies were closing in after Chingola Municipal Council handed over the matter to the security wings.
The council acting Town Clerk Joseph Zulu confirmed to the Sunday Times during the week that overwhelming evidence proved that land was sold to some Chingola residents and that it was up to the courts to determine whether those implicated were guilty or not.
According to the Chingola Municipal Council 2015 full council meeting minute book, Gymnkana, a settlement, was legalised so that settlers could be given titles.
But residents complained to the Sunday Times before making their submissions to the Taskforce on Illegal Land Allocation and Acquisition in Chingola recently, led by Home Affairs Deputy Minister Panji Kaunda that they have lived on the piece of land for many years but have been displaced after it was legalised.
The residents revealed that councillors and council employees allegedly grabbed the land and clandestinely sold it to their relatives and friends.
Commenting on the land scandal during a media briefing recently, Colonel Kaunda said five councillors have been implicated and that he had directed the Police to investigate the matter and recommended vigilance probe into the issue.
Col Kaunda said an internal inquiry had also been ordered, meaning that all those involved in the scandal would face the law.
However, Copperbelt Police Chief Charity Katanga said police had not yet instituted investigations into the matter.
“We are still waiting for details,” she said.
While on the Copperbelt, Col Kaunda emphasised that land was owned by the Ministry of Lands and councils were not the owners and that those involved would face the wrath of the law.
The deputy minister, however, did not rule out connivance of some council employees in the scandal.
Recently, Government banned the issuance of applications to new applicants after discovering that some land applicants have been on some council’s waiting-list for more than 10 years.
This was to ensure that all those on the waiting-list of councils countrywide, were cleared.
Local Government Minister Stephen Kampyongo recently suspended the Kitwe City Council, Ndola City Council and Livingstone City Council over allegations of illegal land allocation.
Illegal land allocation by some civic leaders in Zambia has become common with routine scams over land repeatedly occurring.
The Ndola City Council was named as the major culprit, by the Taskforce on Illegal Land Allocation and Acquisition.