THE Ndola City Council has with immediate effect stopped a Chinese investor from going ahead with the construction of a car wash in the buffer zone on the Ndola-Kitwe dual carriageway, mayor Amon Chisenga has revealed.
Mr. Chisenga said in an interview with the Daily Nation in Ndola that he will not entertain anarchy from investors who did not want to follow the laws of the land.
Mr. Chisenga said Mei Mei Group of Companies has diverted from the initial investment plan presented to the local authority, hence its current project and development was outside the proposed investment agreement.
He disclosed that the local authority sat with the Chinese investors from Mei Mei Limited group of companies on Monday and concluded that the structures be demolished.
He said it was unacceptable for investors, upon being awarded land, to divert from the initial projects presented to the local authority.
“We sat in a meeting with the said Chinese investor but what I want to put across is I shall not allow anarchy to take centre stage in the city.
The initial plans presented to the local authority was that the investor would put up a five-star hotel and other amenities but to our surprise when we visited the site with the district commissioner, the developer has diverted from the initial plans and is constructing a structure to be used as a car wash.
‘‘It is unacceptable because these are projects expected to be undertaken by the local residents, not an investor to engage in car wash business,” he said.
He urged investors in the district to abide by the laws of the land, emphasizing that this was not negotiable.
Mr. Chisenga stated that the investor, during the meeting, complained over the US $50,000 spent so far on the construction of the car wash. But the mayor insisted that it was the responsibility of the investor to seek audience with the local authority before undertaking any diversion from the initial plan presented.
And Mei Mei Company general manager King Maluka confirmed that the council had stopped the construction of the car wash and was awaiting for a formal letter.
Mr. Maluku maintained that the investor had not diverted from the proposed project to put up a hotel, shopping mall and housing units but the project was being done in phases.
“The economic downturn also hit us and this has had impact on our progress. It is a long term project that will take over 10 years to take shape .The wholesale structure is partially completed. We will construct the project indicated in our proposal to Government,” he said.
Mr. Maluku said the developer only came to learn that they had taken up land in the buffer zone after the Road Development Agency approached the company.
He maintained that the developer will comply with the directive from the local authority and construction has since stalled.
Mei Mei Chinese Company in 2015 acquired 13 hectares of land in Ndola next to Levy Mwanawasa Stadium on the Ndola-Kitwe carriage way where a US$75 million wholesale city complex was to be built.
The complex consists of wholesale city and storage, phase two housing units, phase three a five- star hotel, phase four a shopping mall and phase five amusement park.