Residents of Kazungula border township area yesterday staged a peaceful protest over the persisted land wrangles involving the Kazungula Town Council and the affected nine villages.
The local people, who disputed the recent Court of Appeal’s ruling in favour of the local authority, matched from Four Ways area to the Kazungula Civic Center where they expected to be addressed by the Council Secretary, Jemie Mukwato, and District Commissioner Elias Siamibila.
However, both Mr Mukwato and Mr Siamibila were not available at the time.
But Kazala village senior headman, Kabanga Kabanga, addressing the protestors and expressed concern over lack of dialogue between his people and those in authority at district level concerning the challenges.
Mr Kabanga described the behaviour of the officials as uncalled for alleging that this shows that the local people have no representation at any level of leadership.
“It is unfortunate that all the senior government officers from the local authority are not present here at their offices. This is despite having notified them with letters over this intended protest,” Mr Kabanga said.
Meanwhile, Mr Kabanga asked the District Commissioner to negotiate with the Kazungula Town Council Secretary, Jemie Mukwato, on best possible ways of handling the land wrangles.
And Mwiya village headman, Musiya Mwiya, implored the local authorities not to disturb villagers who have been occupying the land in question since time immemorial.
Mr Mwiya said the council should concentrate on the northern part of Kazungula-Sesheke road and demarcate residential and commercial plots for sale instead of accusing local people of encroaching in the traditional land.
At the same occasion, Kazala village secretary, Shadreck Sitali, asked the Kazungula Town Council not to interfere with other service providers such as ZESCO and Southern Water and Sewerage Company (SWSC) that provide services closer to the people.
“I am aware that the council people have written to ZESCO and SWSC not to take development to the affected villages. This is retarding social and economic development in Kazungula,” Mr Sitali complained.
He stressed the need for public institutions to provide social services where people are residing.
Recently, the Kazungula Town Council made an announcement that starting from March 14, 2023, the department of planning would embark on plot verification exercise and appealed to the local people within the border catchment area to cooperate during the exercise.