Police in Kitwe yesterday stopped a white famer and businessman Kelvin William Soper, for a second time, from holding a lone protest walk over land allegedly grabbed from him by Northern Province Permanent Secretary Elias Kamanga.
In March 2018, Soper wanted to walk a 360-kilometer stretch to State House in Lusaka on a mission to plead with President Edgar Lungu to intervene in his land crisis.
Soper claims Kamanga had gotten 600 hectares of his land and obtained title without his consent.
“I am married, we have 13 children and nine grandchildren at the farm. This Kamanga is a problem. So I am walking to State House,” Soper said.
On Friday, Soper told News Diggers! that despite him giving police necessary notification, no feedback was given to him.
“I have done what is needed but the police including the high office have not given me any feedback. So in search for justice, I am walking this Sunday starting at 05:00 hours. I ask for your support and prayers,” Soper said.
“I do not need a permit to recommence walking in peaceful appeal to see the Kateka at state House. My walk restarts on Sunday 29th 2018 at 05:00hours on the Kitwe- Ndola highway.”
But police stopped Soper Sunday morning just after reaching Maposa area.
“When I reached Maposa, Police officers came and told me to go back. They said that they had received instructions from High Command that I shouldn’t proceed. I didn’t resist, they picked me took him to Kitwe Central Police. I have gotten assurance from Police Deputy IG Malcolm Mulenga that this issue will be sorted out, and that is how I agreed to go back,” said Soper adding that the fight was not over.
In March Kamanga threatened to take legal action against Soper and explained his position on the matter in a leaked letter.
“As discussed with you Sir, in our earlier Telephone conversation, a Mr Kevin Soper, a British Citizen domiciled in Zambia is reportedly marching to Lusaka to meet His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu accusing me of having grabbed his farmland in Kitwe. The facts of the matter however are that I was duly offered the said land (a subdivision of Farm No 3416) by the Kitwe City Council following a Supreme Court Ruling which directed the council to re-plan and offer subdivisions of the said farm to interested developers. The judgement arose out of an appeal by Mfubu Ranch (the owners of Farm 3416) to the Supreme Court against Somore Ltd (belonging to the late former Wusakile MP, Barnabas Chela and SOPER) who had allegedly illegally obtained Title to their Land,” the letter read in part.
“It might interest you to note, Sir, that there are several farmers who have since proceeded to develop their land, including the late Hon Chela who was also offered part of the subdivided lots. It might also interest you to note that I have been at the said farm for close to ten years. The allegation therefore that I have grabbed land from Soper is not only mischievous but intended to malign me and the Government of His Excellency Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, most especially to the International Community. I have as a consequence instructed my lawyers, William Nyirenda and Company, to commence legal proceedings against Mr Soper.”