PF cadres masquerading as city planners
LOCAL government minister Vincent Mwale says some PF cadres who are masquerading as city planners have been giving out land and warned that no one will be protected once found wanting.
Copperbelt minister Bowman Lusambo recently angered the Patriotic Front leadership following his statement that a lot of ruling party cadres were in the forefront of land administration and vowed to end the practice.
But this attracted an immediate reaction from the party leadership in the province which told Lusambo, who recently joined the PF from the MMD Die Hard wing, not to bring confusion in the ruling party.
Vice-President Inonge Wina was prompted to travel to Ndola for an emergency meeting to resolve the difference that had emerged over Lusambo’s revelations of cadre involvement in land administration.
And Mwale repeated Lusambo’s concerns, saying there had been a lot of professional misconduct by those tasked with the responsibility of implementing and approving development plans.
“Lack of prioritising development planning and lawlessness in land management is greatly hampering social and economic growth. There have been a lot of illegal land developments, which are a result of poor enforcement of existing laws. Cadres have been masquerading as planners and engaged in illegal land allocation of plots and planned land leaving professional planners intimidated when confronted by cadres,” Mwale said at the Zambia Institute of Planners (ZIP) annual general meeting.
He has also challenged ZIP executives and other stakeholders to ensure there was professionalism in all dealings and to also ensure those found wanting were brought to book.
Mwale added that his ministry would ensure that no one used political influence to distort well developed plans “in the name of being a supporter of this or that party”.
“It is unfortunate that the country has experienced a lot of illegal developments which are a result of poor enforcement of existing laws but in some cases, it is professional misconduct by those tasked with the responsibility of implementing of approved plans. In some cases, it is people masquerading as cadres who have been engaged in illegal allocation of plots even on planned land and sometimes you as planners get intimidated when confronted by such law breakers and this must be stopped,” Mwale said. “My ministry will ensure that no one will use their political influence to distort well planned or developed plans in the name of being a supporter of this or that political party. You need to stand as ZIP and defend your profession because almost all illegal developments are blamed on the planner.”
And ZIP president Cooper Chibomba said the institute believed that Zambia could still make development planning a success.
“Stakeholders in development planning need to set up inspirational reforms that will incorporate the general public in planning,” said Chibomba.
And speaking at the same event, chief technical advisor for Zambia Green Jobs Tapera Muzira said environmental costs for future generations were increasing in general specifically due to the activities in the building and construction industry.
“Zambia is recognised as one of the top ten fastest growing economies in Africa with sustained economic growth over the past 15 years, according to recent statistics from the Ministry of Finance. Construction is still booming. However, unemployment and poverty remain a challenge as the economy’s growth has not been pro-poor, inclusive and green,” said Muzira.