Local Government and Rural Development Minister, Gary Nkombo, has lifted the 90-day suspension of the Kafue Town Council with immediate effect, after preliminary investigations proved that the local authority was involved in acts of illegalities. Speaking at a press briefing, Mr. Nkombo warned that his ministry will not hesitate to take stern action against any council in the country found committing acts of illegalities.
“Let this serve as a warning to all local authorities that my ministry will not tolerate any acts of illegalities. We are aware that some councils have been engaging in irregularities in the issuance of land, and we will not hesitate to take stern action against them,” he said.
According to Mr. Nkombo, the preliminary investigation revealed that the Kafue Town Council engaged in double allocation of residential and commercial plots, lack of transparency in land administration, and the allocation of land without following laid down procedures. The local authority was also found to be using unauthorized persons to lay out plans and lacked a database for land under its jurisdiction.
“The preliminary investigations have revealed that there were a lot of irregularities in the issuance of land in Kafue. The double allocation of plots is unacceptable, and it is our duty as a government to ensure that we protect the interests of the citizens,” he added.
In response to these findings, Mr. Nkombo said that his Ministry would take measures to ensure that the irregularities are addressed as soon as possible. This would include ensuring close collaboration between the Kafue Town Council and the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources to harmonize the issuance of plots to citizens.
“We will ensure that the irregularities in Kafue are addressed as soon as possible. We will work closely with the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources to harmonize the issuance of plots to citizens. We want to ensure that the citizens get access to land without any irregularities,” he said.
The Minister also added that appropriate measures would be taken against any member of staff found wanting in the irregular issuance of plots in Kafue through the Local Government Service Commission.
“We will not hesitate to take appropriate measures against any member of staff found wanting in the irregular issuance of plots in Kafue. We have a responsibility to protect the interests of the citizens, and we will not shy away from taking action against those who engage in acts of illegalities,” he warned.
Mr. Nkombo had earlier suspended the operations of the Kafue Town Council on 4th November, 2022, through Statutory Instrument No. 71 Of 2022. He had appointed Mr. Abel Siwakwi as Local Government Administrator to oversee the operations of the local authority, a mandate that has since been lifted.
The lifting of the suspension is expected to bring relief to the residents of Kafue, who have been unable to access essential services during the period of suspension. The Minister’s warning to local authorities is also expected to serve as a deterrent to those engaged in acts of illegalities in the issuance of land.
“This lifting of the suspension is a relief to the residents of Kafue, who have been unable to access essential services during the period of suspension. We want to assure the citizens that we are working tirelessly to ensure that they get access to land without any irregularities. The warning to local authorities should serve as a deterrent to those engaged in acts of illegalities in the issuance of land,” he concluded.