The housing empowerment programme by the MMD benefited thousands of Zambians who are now home owners, contrary to the criticism of the programme by Lusaka deputy Mayor Mulenga Sata.
MMD Die hard youth leader Bowman Lusambo told the Daily Nation that the programme promoted house and home ownership among the local citizens.
Lusambo said the attack from the deputy mayor was misplaced and ill informed because a lot of people were now engaged in real estate business including home construction because of the former ruling party’s initiative to empower citizens with house ownership project in the early 1990s.
He said that the real estate empowerment for citizens also encouraged development in the industry that also provides incomes to various families through rentals.
“Many Zambians have learnt the beauty of home ownership because of the former ruling party’s incentive based governance system which created the confidence for everybody to be willing to invest in a house or to build as a source of domestic wealth,” he said.
He said the PF should be happy that many Zambians now depended on their own businesses such as house income through rentals.
“They (PF) should in fact be happy that the MMD promoted house ownership and encouraged investment in real estate where everybody now knows the value of having property, so be careful not to condemn an activity that has benefited many people in the country,” Lusambo said.
He was responding to Lusaka City Council (LCC) deputy mayor Mulenga Sata who was castigating the former ruling party’s home ownership scheme which he claimed has deprived the councils of a strong financial base.
Lusambo countered the claim by stating that in fact Mulenga and his father, President Michael Sata were direct beneficiaries of the MMD’s initiative with several houses dotted around the capital to his name.
“The deputy mayor should be careful not to smear his father’s name by condemning the home ownership programme, because he too was a direct beneficiary of the initiative while under the MMD,” Lusambo said.
Lusambo said President Sata, who was a minister in the President Chiluba regime was one of the initiators of the programme and like many Zambians, had become a big real estate businessman because of the MMD’s aspirations who opened up people’s minds to own (buy or build) properties and create a lucrative industry out of it.
He charged that the councils should instead be more innovative and discover other means of income than continuing to relish past glories when in fact many people benefited from the project unlike if it was a case of wasted funds and efforts.
Mulenga was reported to have attributed the challenges currently being experienced at LCC to the lack of adequate revenue that hit the local authority after the sale of the housing units by the MMD.