Dispute brews over Kabwe graveyard houses

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A judge is threatening to sue the Kabwe Municipal Council (KMC) if it does not demolish houses that have allegedly been constructed within Old Mukobeko Cemetery.
Kabwe town clerk Oliver Muuka says KMC has, however, halted its plan to demolish the houses to allow room for further consultations.
Mr Muuka told Central Province Minister Davies Chisopa last Thursday that the judge has threatened KMC with legal action because his family members’ graves have allegedly been tampered with by people who have been given plots in the cemetery.
“If the council does not take action, the court will take action,” he said.
Mr Muuka said KMC’s plan to demolish the houses is within the law because the structures are illegally constructed.
But Mr Chisopa said he is not aware that KMC plans to demolish the houses and that he did not expect the local authority to make unilateral decisions on demolition of houses without informing him.
He said if the matter was further investigated, KMC would find that some councillors could have allocated the plots to the people.
Mr Chisopa urged KMC to engage the people affected before demolishing their structures.
He also called for a meeting next Monday with Kabwe mayor Richard Bango and Mr Muuka to find a lasting solution to the dispute.
“Anything to do with demolition, town clerk, don’t make autonomous decisions. Engage the parties so that we look at dos and don’ts. We are talking about human life and if it’s bordering on you being arrested, those are the things we should discuss,” Mr Chisopa said.

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