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Nightmare that will never leave the hood

TORN APART with BOYD PHIRI
IT SEEMS everyone is crying – what with the proliferation of people engaged in disreputable dealings in the hood. Even when they fail to accomplish their missions, they make our lives difficult.
You can’t engage yourself in any transaction with someone without city spivs poking their marauding noses into your business.
How they do it, only the devil knows. Who would think finding a plot to build your own house would lead to worst nightmares?
Truth is, every period has its challenges. Even visiting the loo has its own challenges – but that does not mean that everything about your life should be down the toilet.
If you think these city spivs have gone too far, just wait until they swindle you out of your hard-earned cash under the pretext of securing you a plot.
For the past few months, the hood has been inundated with news of residents complaining about being conned by people masquerading as landlords.
With the increasing talk about home-ownership nowadays, who needs to remain a tenant to pander to the rogue elements of landlords in the hood?
You see, there are advantages to being a landlord – if you have the misfortune of renting out your property to people who are prone to defaulting, you can elevate your status to a warlord as a proactive initiative to fight bad tenants.
Who says as a property owner you can’t put yourself on high alert against tenants who want to live like squatters in your own property?
In fact, problems between landlords and tenants in the hood can be aggravating and hard for officers at community police posts to handle.
If you didn’t know, some landlords in the hood work hand-in-hand with cops.
Another advantage of being a landlord is that you can establish yourself as a respectable shylock in the hood.
Money-lending in the hood requires stability so that people who are perpetually thin on cash can get help anytime they need it.
You cannot be a reliable shylock if you are of no fixed abode.
But that’s not the focus of this article. The issue is about the scramble for land in towns.
Unfortunately, it turns out that most of the people who claim to be selling plots do not own any land, not even a one-room house.
Some are only destitutes and taking advantage of people’s desperation for land.
It’s true – some people have lost huge sums of money in their quest to buy land. It has happened in many parts of Lusaka, where con men have illegally sold land belonging to other people.
One piece of land is sold to several unsuspecting people who in the end chase the never-to-be-seen owner.
And when the deal has gone sour, the swindled become wiser by wishing they had either visited the Ministry of Lands or indeed the local authority to verify ownership of the land on sale.
I’m sure everyone has things that go wrong, but in the hood it seems people attract more problems like the Chipolopolo team attracts losses in football nowadays.
In fact, some people, it appears, are more prone to attracting problems more often than others, but the Chipolopolo never learn from their mistakes.
And as long as land continues being much sought after, so will the con men continue being in business and soaringly so.
bjboydphiri@yahoo.com



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