06 Jul 2015 17:40pm
KATIMA MULILO, 06 JUL (NAMPA) The Katima Mulilo Town Council (KMTC) will avail 1 000 plots to landless members of the Lwayaha group between July and September 2015.
This Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the local authority and the Lwayaha group comes just weeks after members of the group, which is made up of 5 000 young, middle-aged and old landless people, protested and clashed with the entire KMTC staff, including its chief executive officer (CEO) Charles Nawa and Katima Mulilo Mayor Charles Matengu in demands for plots to build houses.
On Monday during the MoU signing, Matengu explained to the media that the agreement necessitates the Katima Mulilo Municipality to service 1 000 plots in different parts of the town and connect it to roads and municipal services.
He stressed that the agreement prohibits the resale of these plots, measuring 300 square metres (m²) each, to any third party, and that all structures to be built on these plots be first approved by the council.
This agreement must not be viewed as that the KMTC lost or that Lwayaha was victorious in their quest for land. No! We are signing this agreement so peace can be maintained in the region.
This is why a sizable number of plots have been availed at a cost to be determined by the council. In this agreement, all the plots will be rezoned as residential with a minimum of 300m². All structures to be built at the plots will be done in consultation with KMTC, said Matengu.
The agreement seen by this reporter also reads that all Lwayaha group members who had illegally grabbed, cleared or occupied land at the Macaravan east area between May and June 2015, remove their pegs or marks that indicate these plots as theirs.
A High Court order obtained by the KMTC against these illegal land occupants will also be provisionally withdrawn if they comply with the terms and conditions of the council.
At the signing event, the Lwayaha groups deputy chairperson, Terrence Mukanwa thanked Charles Siyauya, a councillor within the Bukalo Village, who acted as mediator between the group and KMTC.
Siyauya came in when there was a spark of requests for plots. We want and need leaders like him in the region and country. We are really thankful for his role played in the MoU, Mukanwa said.
Siyauya used the platform to explain that he is not part of the Lwayaha group and that he was not sent by anyone to mediate between the two parties.
I am not a consultant. I am not hired or sent by anyone to mediate. I just felt the need for me to be the chain of a peaceful solution that will connect the Lwayaha committee and KMTC with the aim of restoring and building peace and stability in the Zambezi Region, he said.
Following the MoU signing, Affirmative Repositioning (AR) movement leader, Job Amupanda, hailed the agreement, saying it represents the first sign of victory for the generation of land revolutionaries.
In a statement issued to this agency, Amupanda, under the banner of the AR movement which is campaigning for land for the landless, called on other town councils to emulate the KMTC and avail land to the youth before the end of this month.
The spirit of Thomas Sankara of masses-driven politics has emerged victorious. This historic agreement is truth that it can be done and must be done. We would like to salute the bravery and revolutionary spirit of the youth of Katima Mulilo.
We would like to salute fearless Charles Siyauya and other youth leaders on the ground who we were strategising towards this victory. We, therefore, call on other towns to follow the example of Katima Mulilo and conclude agreements with our youth before 31 July 2015, Amupanda said.
The date 31 July 2015 is the deadline given by the AR for municipalities all over the country to have processed about 50 000 applications for land. These applications were submitted en masse in November last year and February this year. The AR said failure to do so will result in mass land grab all over the country.