No council or councilor will be spared from being prosecuted by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) for engaging in illegal land allocation, Local Government and Housing Minister John Phiri has warned.
And Dr Phiri said the Livingstone case involving the mayor in alleged illegal allocation of land should serve as a warning to all council that disregards procedures with impunity.
“When you find yourself facing the long arm of the law, do not say the minister did not warn me,” Dr Phiri said.
He said all land earmarked for allocation to the public should follow the administrative circular No. 1, 1985.
Dr Phiri said there was no special land reserved for special persons neither were there short-cuts in the allocation of land.
He said the fight against illegal allocation of land by councils could not be fought by the minister and officials in Lusaka.
Dr Phiri said the country could only rid itself of such a cancer if everyone worked together and reported violators of the law to relevant authorities.
He urged councilors to be vigilant and protect the integrity of their councils and desist from betraying the votes of the people which made them civic leaders.
“Report all cases of illegal land allocation to the ACC and petition your mayors and council chairpersons over illegal land transactions,” Dr Phiri said.
He said members of the public needed to be vigilant and report all cases of illegal land allocation to the office of the District Commissioners, provincial ministers, Minister of local government or the ACC.
And Dr Phiri has called on all district councils to adhere to the circular No. 1, 1985 guidelines on land allocation.
“Where councils have chosen to abide by these guidelines, there are no cases of illegal allocation of land. However, where councils have deliberately decided to disregard the guidelines, there have been persistent reports of illegal acts of land allocations,” he said.
Dr Phiri said it was unfortunate that the good work of the majority dedicated councillors and council management had often been dented by few isolated reports of gross abuse of land and the total disregard of laid down procedure and structures citing the Livingstone City Council as a case in point.
Dr Phiri said according to the report of the council Ad hoc committee and inquiries by the Anti-Corruption Commission, it was not all councilors that were involved.
He paid tribute to the clean councillors for being the whistle blowers in the Livingstone case and for their vigilance in the matter, adding that they had set an example for all councillors to follow in all councils countrywide.