SENIOR generals in the Zambia Army have been blamed by residents of Naulungu village in Mikango in Lusaka of orchestrating a terror campaign intended to scare them from Mikango so that the army can grab land from them.
The residents, who are under headman Muzambela of Chieftainess Nkomeshya, told the Daily Nation that the military officers gave an order to all villagers not to cultivate their fields this season because it was the land they were using as the firing range.
Earlier this month, military personnel and senior officers from the Ministry of Lands and Patriotic Front cadres demarcated the army firing range and turned it into farms and residential plots.
After demarcating both the firing range and part of the land in Njolwe village, the army officers from Mikango barracks have now resolved to evict the villagers from Naulungu village and grabbed their fields for use as military training ground.
The villagers said the order stated that they were not expected to cultivate their field from November 16, 2014 until December 15, 2014 as their fields would be used as a firing range for the military personnel that would soon be deployed to some UN missions.
“We know this is a way to displace us as we shall not be allowed to go back to our fields and our land after the training. The firing training for the army is ongoing and for them to ask us to stay away our fields for a month is unfair. This is what they did even on the land that they have since demarcated amongst themselves.
“We understand this is another plan to evict us from Naulungu like they did with the land in Njolwe? This farming season where are we going to cultivate if this land is grabbed from us as they all know that we survive on farming. Our Chieftainess Nkhomeshya is really against these evictions and why should the men in uniform target it? Is it because we are not educated and have no one to speak on our behalf?” one villager said.
However when contacted Mikango Barracks commanding officer Chembe Mwape could neither deny or confirm the report as he said he did not talk to the press.
“Yes I am the commanding officer, who told you about that firing range? in fact I don’t talk to the press,” Colonel Mwape said.