A 37-YEAR-OLD man of Harritone village in Masaiti has died in the process of protecting his house from a Zambezi Portland team demolishing houses.
Meanwhile, Ndola police have arrested two men of Mishishi area for resisting the demolition of their structures which the local authority claims were built illegally.
Zambezi Portland Cement has demolished six houses in the village.
But the villagers have warned of bloodshed if the demolition continues.
“We have seen our friend die because he wanted to protect his house. He was hit by the truck that was demolishing the houses. So that blood will not be in vain because we are standing to protect our houses,”
said one of the villagers.
Another villager, Laika Chibwana, narrated how families were forcefully removed from their houses by people clad in Zambezi Portland attire.
Chibwana accused senior chief Chiwala of siding with Zambezi Portland at the expense of the villagers.
“We are in danger here and we don’t know what our future is. Why demolish our houses and leave us to suffer? The chief is siding with this company because he is benefiting alone. But this government is also allowing this to the poor people. We feel neglected in our own country,”
But chief Chiwala said he was unable to comment on the matter as he was at the House of Chiefs.
Zambezi Portland is claiming ownership of Harritone village but the people are demanding compensation before they are removed from the village.
The company argues that it removed all the villagers who were moved to Chilengwa area from the site, and the affected families were rented houses by previous owners.
Meanwhile, the Ndola City Council officers with armed police yesterday demolished “illegal” houses in Mishishi area.
But the owners of the houses and plots presented a court order which the Town Clerk refused to receive.
However, the demolition exercise turned violent when owners of the plots turned up.
The police and council officers led by town clerk Wisdom Bwalya arrived at the illegal structures around 11:30 hours.
The demolition came barely a day after the council gave out a media notice that all the people with plots in Mishishi should take their documents for approval.
However, the owners of the land brought a court order which Bwalya refused to receive.
“Tell your people to stay away. We have papers from the courts,” Sam Bwale, one of the land owners, told Bwalya.
“We know you want to sell this land to the Chinese. Where is our pride as Zambians? You want to give the Chinese and where are we going as local people? Is this what we voted for ba Edgar Lungu,”
Bwali said as armed police threatened him with arrest.
However, Bwali and others did not stop asking the council to stop demolishing their structures and advised Bwalya to get the court documents.
“I have an office. Don’t give me these papers here. Bring those things to the office,” Bwalya said.
Later, Bwali and other land owners went to check on their pieces of land.
But the police followed them and arrested Bwali and one of his colleagues.