A MANSA magistrates’ court has fined two people K500 for building a house in a cemetery.
Anna Yombwe and Trust Kalenga were charged with trespassing in a graveyard and offering indignation to human corpses.
Magistrate George Mulenga said in the event they failed to pay their fines, the duo would be jailed for five months.
Chief Kalasa Lukangaba had received reports that Sumbwe graveyard had been demarcated for development as residential plots.
A visit to the graveyard for verification revealed that some structure had been erected while some people where found clearing overgrown brushes, leveling graves and making blocks and later scampered upon seeing the presence of council police officers.
Yombwe and Kalenga were subsequently arrested.
The Magistrate undertook a site visit for verification purposes and in his ruling said he was satisfied the place in question was indeed a burial site.
Alan Kapunjila, 35, a senior administrative officer at the council who testified in the matter stated that it was illegal to build houses in a graveyard as statutes squarely put the cemetery in the council’s jurisdiction.
He also testified that development over a graveyard could only be allowed after half a century following the last person’s burial at the site.
He also said the cemetery in question was still in use.