Minister in “PlayHouse” scandal

An elaborate plan led by a minister to sell off Lusaka Play House to a private investor has been exposed.
The minister has already taken a substantial amount of money for the land which is owned by a co-operative society.
Daily Nation investigations have revealed that the confusion and false claims about the mismanagement at the Lusaka Play House is being created by government officials who want to depose the cooperative society, a board member has revealed.
The board member who sought anonymity told the Daily Nation that a named minister who was at one time a member of the cooperative society was behind the confusion at the Play House.
The member said it was unfortunate that some members of the society were being used by selfish individuals for personal interest.
He said the reports in the media that the current board had failed to manage the place were not correct and said that the board was aware of external forces who were planning to take over the land where the Play House was located.
The investigation has revealed that the named government minister and other people wanted to sell the place to a known firm dealing in motor vehicles.
The source at the Play House told the newspaper that the minister was under pressure to have the Play House seized as the firm was ready to take over the land and turn it into a car show room.
“All this confusion about the Play House is being caused by this minister and we know that they want to sell the land where the house is located to a car firm which wants to turn it into a showroom.
“Because we have been refusing to let go of this property they have resorted to asking people to say all sorts of things about the board which are not even there.
“The calls by these people that government should come in and take over are really strange because it belongs to a cooperative society,” he said.
Interested parties were now using artists to fight the board and that some of the artists that demanded for government take over were members of the society.
They denied claims that the House was not used for its intended purpose and the artists were denied permission to become members of the society as they had claimed.
“We are aware that some money had already been eaten and they want to pretend that government had taken over when they have already promised the car firm that all is under control. We understand the board has been asked to write a report but we know what they are capable of doing in order to please the foreign businessmen.
“We are also aware that very soon a team of investigators would move in but it is really something that we have failed to understand and the minister is under pressure because the businessmen have said this was a prime area which was suitable for a showroom.
“That’s what happens if you eat from big people you put the under privileged in a tight corner. They are now proposing that the society moves to government complex for their performances,” they said.