OVER 40 families in Chingola’s Chikola B residential area have been left destitute after the city council demolished their houses in the early hours of yesterday.
The Chikola residents were awaken in the night before Chingola City Council officials, accompanied by riot State Police ordered them out of their houses before demolishing them
Chingola Municipal Council public relations manager George Sichimba has confirmed that the council had demolished houses that were built on illegally acquired land.Mr Sichimba said the area in question was meant for industrial and commercial construction.
“Most of the people whose houses have been demolished have no legal documentation,” he said. And Chingola National Restoration Party (NAREP) Information and Publicity secretary Bernard Mwila told Daily Nation that the council only stopped the process around 07:00hours when the grader used to demolish the houses developed a mechanical fault.
“During the early hours today around 01:00 am, the council started demolishing houses,” he said. Mr Mwila said the council managed to demolish over 40 houses by 07:00hours before the grader developed a mechanical faulty.
“I was called by one of our members when the council arrived at the scene and we started watching them demolish the houses until 07:00hours,” he said.
Mr Mwila said he was prompted to lead the residents to the district commissioner’s office to seek an explanation.
He said the district commissioner attributed the decision taken the city council to the continued illegal land allocation.
“While in the midst of the residents at the district commissioner’s office, a PF official confronted me saying there was nothing anybody could do to reverse the council’s decision,” he said.