Chongwe Municipal Council has demolished some structures which were illegally constructed along Palabana junction by some members of the community in Palabana ward.
Chongwe Municipal Council Acting Public Relations Manager, Cecilia Musonda says the demolished structures were constructed on road reserves which is a violation of the law.
In a statement made available , Ms Musonda said the action by the local authority was undertaken after several engagements with the owners of the structures who were using them for trading purposes.
She added that the demolition of the structures in Palabana is a warning to members of the public to desist from illegally constructing structures without planning permission from the council.
“This should, therefore, send a warning to the members of the public that are in the habit of putting up structures without the planning permission or consultation from the Local Authority as stipulated in the Urban and Regional Planning Act no. 3 of 2015 and The Public Health Act CAP 295 of the Laws of Zambia,” she said.
Ms Musonda further encouraged members of the public to consult the council’s planning department to seek building permission and submit their building plans or any intentions to undertake construction works to avoid facing penalties and demolitions.
Meanwhile, Njolwe Ward Councilor, Given Mwenya has called on Chongwe Municipal Council and other relevant government authorities to educate people in the area on the difference between state and traditional land.
Ms. Mwenya explained that most residents in the area are not aware of the boundaries which divide land owned by the Busoli royal establishment and the state which has resulted in most of them constructing structures illegally on state land.
She said the owners of the illegal structures which have been demolished by the local authority were on a number of occasions warned to stop construction on the road reserve but refused to adhere to the warnings.
“The council notified these people to stop constructing the structures on the road reserve and I also did my part as their councilor to sensitise them on the illegality they were committing but they refused to heed the warnings. They would respond to us saying they were given the land by the previous Patriotic Front government adding that the council should source another piece of land for road reserves from the new dawn government,” Ms. Mwenya explained.
Ms. Mwenya,however,expressed concern over the construction of a house on land that is reserved for the construction of a market shelter for the community by a named resident in the area.
She wondered why the council did not demolish the house despite knowing that the structure is constructed on land that is reserved for a market.
Ms. Mwenya further added that she is yet to engage the council to discuss the reasons behind its reluctance to demolish the said house.