FORMER Minister of Transport and Communications William Harrington says the ill-advised and ill-timed commissioning of the Zambia Air Force and Kingsland City projects must be a great source of embarrassment for President Edgar Lungu in light of the court injunction.

Last week, the Court of Appeal granted an injunction restraining the continued works at Kingsland City, a housing project which was officially commissioned by President Lungu last month. 

Delivering his ruling, Judge Kondolo said the Kingsland City, regardless of the magnitude of the project did not enjoy state immunity from injunction.

And in a statement sent to News Diggers, Harrington said President Lungu should take disciplinary action against his advisors.

“I sincerely believe that had the President been advised, he would have perhaps not gone ahead to commission the project, being a lawyer himself. President Lungu must take stern disciplinary action against any of his advisors for failing or neglecting to advise him that on the matter of Zambia Air Force (ZAF) Projects Limited, Kingsland City Limited, Shangrila Investments Limited and others projects before Appeals Court of Zambia. That it is subjudice and that he should therefore not have gone ahead to officially launch the housing project recently. So the ill-advised and ill-timed commissioning of the ZAF and Kingsland City projects must be a great source of embarrassment caused to our humble President which demands stern disciplinary action on any and all those who ignored, neglected or refused to advise the President appropriately,”read the statement.

“This is because in a landmark judgment delivered by the learned Judge Kondolo of The Court of Appeal on 17th February 2020, he granted an injunction restraining the companies from proceeding with developments in part of the Lusaka East Local Forest Reserve No. 27. Surprisingly, President Lungu went ahead to launch and give his “blessings” to the controversial project without due regard to the process of the law.”

Harrington said there was nothing political about protecting reserved forests in the country.

“A day after the commissioning of the controversial project, one of the state-owned and government-controlled newspapers carried a story under a screaming headline “Cut down politics” quoting the President as having said that he expects the politics surrounding Forest Reserve 27 to come to an end following assurances that on-going development of Kingsland City has caused no environmental harm. In the first place, this statement by our humble President is not only surprising but shocking because there is nothing political but everything moral about protecting the forest because it is an aquifer and water catchment area,” stated Harrington.

“The health and lives of thousands if not millions of citizens is put at great risk through contamination of their water from faecal matter and poisonous household chemicals. So I humbly beg to differ with our humble President that the FR No.27 is not a political one but an environment one. It is no wonder that the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) only gave a go-ahead in principle for the project subject to some critical conditions being met by the developers of which I am reliably informed have not been met.”