National Democratic Congress (NDC) candidate for the Lusaka Mayoral position Saboi Imboela says an opposition Mayor is what Lusaka needs if residents are to arrest challenges of land grabbing by PF cadres.
Speaking to News Diggers in an interview, Imboela promised to embark on a modernisation programme of all shanty compounds in Lusaka in order to create more space for new houses.
“If I am elected as Mayor, I will have to sit down with the Ministry of Lands because the issue of land grabbing is very serious. I have got a close friend of mine whose farm was actually grabbed and they’ve built houses there. So they’ve been going to the council and the Ministry of Lands but nothing is happening. So that issue is a very big one, we need to sit down and talk about. And when I talk about modernisation of shanty compounds, I think also can address the issue of land grabbing. Whether we like it or not, there is no more land in Lusaka. Land has finished in Lusaka, so what we need is that when we modernise these shanty compounds, we need to invest in High rise flats. High rise flats will enable us create a lot of space and houses for people. With that also we are going to empower the owners of the land with good houses and enough space also sell off as a council and then land owners also will in the end have money as start up capital,” Imboela said.
“If you go right now into let’s say Kafue road, all that road frontage, Misisi and John Laing compounds, it’s the foreigners that have taken up the land. So foreigners in this country are benefiting all the time more than locals. Where do you want to take our own people, grabbing off land? You even know that this land belongs to someone else but the cadres come through and grab that land. The markets, everything it’s like the cadres have just taken over. So this issue of the cadres taking everything has to be sorted out. And for me, that’s even the reason why an opposition Mayor is going to sort out a lot of problems. Because once people vote in a PF Mayor, it will be business as usual. No one is going to look at these things and criticise them and make sure that these things change. If people are going to vote in a PF Mayor, it will be exactly the same and nothing will change. But for us who are going to be voted or from the opposition, I will make sure that such things don’t happen again.”
She also said she would fight corruption in the allocation of land at the local authority.
“Lusaka is the smallest town in the whole of Zambia in terms of space, if you look at all these other towns in the Provinces they are very big. Lusaka is very very small. So as we also invest in high rise flats, the other thing we need to do is lobby for land from our surrounding villages or what we call Chiefs. The Chiefs that will come in and try to give out a bit of land. Lusaka is the most populated area and yet the smallest in terms of square kilometers. So that is something that we want to address and also corruption. There is too much corruption, just applying for land is a problem, there is too much corruption in the councils. No wonder people can’t go and apply for land. So corruption will have to be addressed and as a party, corruption is a core in term of what we want to fight against,” she said.
Meanwhile, Imboela said she would also work towards youth and women empowerment if elected as Mayor.
“Youth and women empowerment for me is very critical, drop in centres. As you know I am Chairperson for gender and child development. So I am going to work with children and women. If I am voted into office, the issue of dropping centres, street kids will also be prioritised. These children have to be taken into homes because if you look at street kids, these are children whom later on, political parties get,” said Imboela.
“Have you ever wondered where street kids go after wards? Because at some point they grow up, so when they grow up, these are the people that the political parties get and turn then into agents of violence. If you look at the street kids after they grow up some of them are even heartless, I have been in the heart of violence such that when these people come to you they are even ready to kill because the political parties now are abusing them and giving them whatever it is they are giving them like money for drugs and no one can do anything. So as NDC we are going to deal with the issue of street children. There will have children taken away from the streets and taken to schools and given skills development kind of training and later on we are going to have responsible citizens.”