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Misisi planned reconstruction raises mixed feelings

MISISI and Kuku in Lusaka may be among the most squalid places in the country, but not everyone there is happy about a government plan to demolish and rebuild the two townships.
Last Wednesday, Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development Ronald Chitotela was guest on a Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation television programme dubbed Morning Live, where he announced that Government has come up with a policy called ‘Urban Renewal’.
According to Mr Chitotela, the policy is meant to enable Government build high quality and standard housing infrastructure in places like Kuku and Misisi townships.
Mr Chitotela said Government has decided to engage a developer to construct modern houses which will make the surroundings cleaner, which will help prevent outbreaks of diseases like cholera.
“We are informing the nation that we have a guest from Japan, the minister responsible for infrastructure development in that country, who has come to share ideas with us on many things regarding infrastructure development. We shall sign an MoU to work closely with our colleagues in Japan to better infrastructure in the country,” he said.
But Christine Chisanga, a 31-year-old resident of Kuku township, does not want to lose her family home, which she said has sentimental value.
“This house was built by my late father and my family and I have created so many memories in it. We have lived here most of our lives,” she said.
Others, however, have welcomed the plan.
Misozi Banda, 54, a resident of Misisi township, said the plan is welcome as it will help improve sanitation in the two townships.
“Some of the structures here were built before independence and they have outlived their lifespan and are not even habitable,” she said