MMD official accuses Chililabombwe council, police of harassing him over his land

AN MMD official has accused the Chililabombwe council of colluding with Zambia Police officers to grab a piece of land he owns in the area.

Peter Phiri laments that some senior members of staff at Chililabombwe Municipal Council were working with the Zambia Police command in the area in a bid to grab his land.

Phiri, who is MMD deputy spokesperson, explained that he legally owns a one acre piece of land where he has since established a carpark near Shoprite Checkers in Chililabombwe but the local authority was trying to use dubious and forceful means to get the land he obtained from the Chililabombwe Municipal Council some years back.

“I have this one acre piece of land which I legally own and is on title. At some point, the Chililabombwe Municipal Council tried to forcefully get this land from me. We went to court and in 2017, the Ndola High Court ruled that the said land legally belongs to me because I even have title deeds for the same property. I won the case and awarded costs to that effect. I have in my possession the said Ndola High Court judgement and title deeds to the same land as well as lay out designs by the Chililabombwe Municipal Council. The Chililabombwe Municipal Council wanted to build a market, car park and some commercial shops on the same land as contained in their 2013 layout designs. I have since put up a car park on my one acre piece of land situated just behind Shoprite,” he explained. “Surprisingly a few weeks ago some senior council officials in collaboration with the Zambia Police command in Chililabombwe started advocating for this cold war aimed at grabbing the land that I legally own. In my own view, this amounts to contempt of court and should not be entertained. If the local authority in Chililabombwe still feels that that they are not satisfied with the Ndola High Court judgement, they should appeal against that judgement as opposed to using dubious means to grab that land from me. They want to use the back door by conniving with some senior Zambia Police officers to intimidate and victimise me over the property that I legally own.”

Phiri further disclosed that some Zambia Police officers have even gone to the extent of intimidating his workers that were manning his car park.

He wondered what interest the Zambia Police command had in the matter because by law it was the local authority that had the mandate to oversee matters pertaining to land ownership.

“What I know is that by law the local authority is the land agent of the government of the Republic of Zambia. But interestingly and unfortunately, in this case, the Zambia Police command in Chililabombwe has got interest in my land for unknown reasons. On Friday, they picked up my workers that have been working at my car park, interrogated them and charged them with an offence they were referring to as ‘misconduct’. They had initially phoned me that I should appear before the Chililabombwe main Police station but a few hours later they phoned again and told me that I should not report there,” Phiri narrated. “The Chililabombwe Municipal Council director engineering and Zambia Police officer commanding are the ones behind this crusade of intimidating and victimising me over the land that I legally own. I wonder if the Zambia Police officer commanding has now become the director planning for the local authority.”

Phiri further stated that he was ready to defend himself over the ownership of his land.

“I have always stated that if the local authority is not satisfied with the Ndola High Court judgment number 2014/261, they should appeal against the said judgment. My lawyer is ready to proceed and address this matter with the courts of law and not the Zambia Police officer commanding. I am ready to defend myself using legal means and not illegal means. I am a Zambia citizen who should enjoy my fundamental human rights and not subjected him to victimisation and intimidation,” Phiri added.

Efforts to get a comment from Chililabombwe Zambia Police officer commanding, a Mr Pengaula, failed by press time as his mobile phone was switched off.

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