Friday, August 07, 2009

Kitwe police release 9 MMD cadres arrested over illegal land allocation

Kitwe police release 9 MMD cadres arrested over illegal land allocation
Written by Mutuna Chanda in Kitwe
Friday, August 07, 2009 2:49:24 PM

POLICE have released the nine MMD cadres that were apprehended by Kitwe City Council police last Saturday for illegally allocating over 1,000 plots in Kawama area.
And MMD Kitwe district vice chairman George Lungu has denied that the nine were MMD cadres, saying those who belonged to the ruling party were only three and were mistakenly picked up.

The cadres had been handed over to state police and were detained at Mindolo police station.

However, Kitwe City Council public relations officer Dorothy Sampa said that the MMD cadres were released on Monday after police could not find charges to slap on them.

“The information that I got from our chief security officer was that they were released on Monday,” Sampa said. “Police released them because they couldn’t find charges to slap on them…the law states that you can’t keep someone for more than 48 hours without charge.”

She also maintained that the nine people arrested last Saturday were MMD cadres going by their confessions to council police officers.

“It is not the first time that we are apprehending cadres from the ruling party. We have on record a Mr Mwewa, MMD chairman for Kawama who has been arrested twice and there’s a docket at the police to show that this had happened,” said Sampa.

When contacted for comment, Copperbelt police chief Antoneil Mutentwa said he was not aware of the matter and that he had asked Kitwe commanding officer Nelson Phiri to follow it up.

And Lungu said the three MMD cadres who were mistakenly picked up in the Kawama operation were released Saturday night, hours after being apprehended.

He charged that of those that were detained, five were PF officials.

Lungu however said he could neither blame PF nor MMD cadres and that the Kitwe City Council was at fault in the illegal allocation of land in Kawama.

And PF Copperbelt chairman Mwenya Musenge refuted Lungu’s assertions that five of the people who were picked up were PF officials.

Musenge also blamed acts of illegal land allocation on Kitwe City Council.

He said the council had tracts of land which it did not want to allocate to members of the public who were looking for plots.

Musenge said this created an artificial shortage of land leading to members of the public being duped by illegal land vendors.

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