VIOLET MENGO, Chongwe
PRESIDENT Lungu has directed Minister of Local Government and Housing Stephen Kampyongo to work closely with chiefs in the management of land.
Mr Lungu said the illegal land acquisition and construction of structures have adversely affected the development of the country for a long time.
The President was speaking in Chongwe when he made an impromptu visit at Senior Chieftainess Nkomeshyaâ€™s palace yesterday.
He said there is need for consultation between chiefs and local government to ensure planned development.
â€œEverybody must follow the procedure in the acquisition of land. We do not want to encourage wrong-doing with an understanding that Government will normalise the process,â€ President Lungu said.
He said he does not support illegalities.
â€œWe would love to have planned movements to avoid future challenges of demolitions. That way we can provide water, electricity and other services required on a piece of land,â€ President Lungu said.
He assured Senior Chieftainess Nkomeshya that he would follow up the implementation of the electronic voucher (e-voucher) system with the Ministry of Lands to address the challenges being faced.
â€œI have heard the feedback, I will follow up with the ministry officials to see how service delivery can be improved,â€ President Lungu said.
He said the system is bound to have hiccups, but timely feedback can help improve it as it is a pioneer initiative.
Senior Chieftainess Nkomeshya told President Lungu that she is having a lot of pressure because Chongwe district is slowly becoming like Lusaka.
She said many people are drifting into the district and using money to acquire land illegally.
â€œWhen you ask them how they acquired the land, all they say is that they have already built and that Government will legalise the process,â€ Chieftainess Nkomeshya said.
She also complained about challenges in the implementation of the e-voucher system, saying the process is cumbersome.
Chieftainess Nkomeshya said the e-voucher package consists of only four bags of fertiliser and does not cater for seed.
â€œBut we need seed because it is a staple food. Government should consider including it in the coming season,â€ she said.
And President Lungu also visited Chongwe District Hospital, where he presented gifts to the eight newly born Christmas babies.
He encouraged the mothers to take good care of the babies and take advice seriously from health personnel.
President Lungu later told journalists that Christmas is a day for showing love to one another.
He said prisoners and the sick are important to everyone who believes in the Lord Jesus Christ.
â€œFor those who have decided to commercialise Christmas, it is their own problem,â€ President Lungu said.
He returned to Lusaka late in the afternoon.
VIOLET MENGO, Chongwe