Sell Old Chilenje cemetery to developers, LCC told

CHILENJE residents have called on the Lusaka City Council (LCC) to consider selling the Old Chilenje cemetery to a private investor who can turn the land into something productive like a recreation centre for youths. But Lusaka City Council (LCC) public relations manager Habeenzu Mulunda said the cemetery could not be sold off now because it was less than 100 years old, the mandatory age which could pave way for turning any such cemetery into economic use. The residents said that there was need for the council to sell the land to someone who could turn it into a productive area for the benefit of the residents in the area. They complained that the land was too big to be left without making use of it. Kennedy Sichalwe, a resident of Chilenje area, said that the land could be used for something that would benefit the residents especially the youths. Mr. Sichalwe said the land should be turned into something that would benefit people in the area. He said that the council should put up the land for sale as it would help create employment for many people. Mr. Sichalwe said that the old burial site had been turned into a den of illegal activities like alcohol and drug abuse as well as attacks on women. “We are appealing to the council to think of selling the land to a private investor who can turn the old burial site into something productive that will be able to benefit the people of Chilenje and the surrounding areas,’’ he said. But Mr Mulunda explained that it took 100 years for a cemetery to be declared free of any other development such as the construction of buildings on the site. He said the Old Chilenje cemetery was less than 100 years old and as such it could not be sold and turned into development land. Mr. Mulunda said the council would consider selling the land when the 100 years deadline was over. “It takes a 100 years before a burial site can be sold or turned into any project to be sold to anyone and the Old Chilenje cemetery is less than 100 years and that is why as council we cannot sell it just yet but when the 100 years elapse we will inform the people,” he said. -Millennium Radio 90.5FM