Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Kafue businessman, residents in dispute over land
By Oswald Sichone
Sat 06 July 2013, 14:01 CAT

KAFUE member of parliament Obvious Mwaliteta says there is urgent need to have the land Act reviewed if land wrangles are to be reduced.

Addressing angry Zambia Compound residents who stormed his office to complain about the alleged fencing of the river frontage by a local businessman, Peter Hatuma of PH Motors, Mwaliteta expressed concern at the growing land wrangles in the district and urged the residents to remain calm but protect their interest.

Mwaliteta said water was a natural resource which should be enjoyed by everyone because it was God-given.

He promised to engage the commissioner of lands so that the title deed given to Hatuma could be reviewed because people were being denied access to the river.

Mwaliteta instructed Kafue district council director of works Stanley Chanda to survey the land in question and make recommendations to the commissioner of lands on what need to be done over the disputed land.
Speaking on behalf of the residents, Chrispin Phiri urged the government to review the title given to Hatuma, alleging that he had barred them from drawing water from Kafue River as a result of the electric fence which was razed on Thursday by irate residents who also threatened to bring down his house.

Phiri said that most residents of Zambia Compound were fishermen who earned their living by fishing on the Kafue River and that denying them access to the river was as bad as killing them.
He accused Hatuma of extending his boundary thereby encroaching in some of residents' plots, sparking the violence.
The irate residents then razed the wildlife fence in full view of Mwaliteta, who however, pleaded with them not to take the law in their own hands but allow the law to take its course.

And in a letter addressed to the officer-in-charge at Kafue Police Station dated July 4, 2013, and copied to the Inspector General of Police and the National Assembly office in Kafue, Hatuma accused Mwaliteta of instigating Zambia Compound residents by promising that he would give them part of his land.

Hatuma stated that he was the rightful owner of the land in question as he had title deeds.

He stated that the damage caused to the farm was in millions.

"I have the title to the farm between Zambia Compound and the Kafue River. The farm was fenced with an electric fence but the whole fence was stolen by known people. I have now started to put a game fence, but known people are causing problems, even uprooting the poles of the fence. I am reliably informed that the area MP was on site when these people started breaking down the concrete poles that were erected by workers. Now what should I do to these people? If I take the law in my hands, you will arrest me. If I report, nothing happens. As I write this letter, my workers are under fear of death by the same hooligans who are known," read the letter.

Hatuma denied having fenced the river front, saying he only fenced part of the farm where he had built some fish ponds and harbour to avoid pilferage.

He denied encroaching on anyone's land and urged those involved to follow the rightful procedure to avoid legal action.

According to the certificate of title no 2911 sub division 619 of 1052/m, Hatuma acquired the land marked 619,620,621 and 622 on November 28, 2001.

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