Luanshya Municipal Council has launched the issuance of occupancy licenses to residents of the mining town during a colourful ceremony graced by Mayor Nathan Chanda Bwalya in Fisenge area in Luanshya Constituency.
Speaking at the event, Luanshya Mayor Chanda announced that a total of 341 licenses will be issued in the first phase and an additional more than 500 in the second phase.
The Mayor said the Council is committed under the Integrated Development Plan (IDP) to see to it that settlement areas are upgraded in order to improve the living conditions of residents.
We are to the fact once informal areas are fully upgraded there will be changes in the economic and social status of residents
He said under the able leadership of His Excellency President Dr Edgar Chagwa Lungu the PF Government Repealed the Town and Planning Act Chapter 283 of the Laws of Zambia and Replaced it with the Urban and Region Planning Act No. 3 of 2015 which provides for the issuance of occupancy licenses by local authorities for a period of 30 years with a provision of renewal.
Mr Chanda said that the issuance of these legally binding documents comes with alot of benefits among them, create sense of ownership and belonging, collateral one can use to get a loan from any lending institution and its also a lifetime empowerment to the residents by the local authority that will result in increased revenue base which will lead to enhanced service delivery.
The City Father said residents in settlement areas had in the past experienced land ownership encumbrance due to undesignated settlements.
He added that he was pleased that such challenges in securing land tenure would now be a thing of the past.
He further appealed to residents to ensure that they followed the correct procedure when acquiring land in the district.
Apart from Fisenge, the issuance of occupancy licenses which will also be extended to other settlement areas namely Kamuchanga, Mwaiseni, Buntungwa and Misaka among others.
Mr Chanda, thanked the residents of Fisenge for cooperating with the local authority resulting into the Council’s facilitation of Occupancy Licenses.
He also thanked Luanshya Deputy Mayor Golden Mulenga, Ward Councillors and the Council managed for their hard work and team spirit, which played a crucial role in transforming Luanshya Municipal Council from a financially struggling local authority to a formidable and revived one.
He expressed happiness that now the Council was able to pay its employees on a monthly basis, and purchase earth moving equipment and GPS because of the team work on the part of Councillors and management resulting into prudent used of locally generated revenue and Government grants.
And Area councillor for Fisenge Ward of Luanshya Constituency Councillor Nepoll Chiyasa said in welcoming remarks that he was very happy to see the PF government through the local authority under Mayor Nathan Chanda Bwalya empowering the good and peaceful people of his area with land ownership.
He said settlement areas were in the past unplanned which created misunderstandings in land ownership and management.
The councillor hailed the municipality for working with local leaders in ensuring that residents were issued with occupancy licenses saying even Rome was not built in one day.
Giving a vote of thanks, Davis Mumba a resident of the area thanked the mayor and the municipality for the gesture.
He said residents had for a long time settled in the area without any legal documents which created misunderstandings as people would fight for land.
Mr Mumba was therefore pleased that the council had began this exercise stating that it would restore peace in land ownership.
“Had it been not for you Mayor Nathan Chanda and your team people of this area would have been killing each other of over land but you have managed to resolve issues of land and we are very grateful for that.
May you continue working hard and we are seeing what you are doing keep it up God is with you.” he said
And one of the recipients of the licenses Iris Mpemba applauded the council for finally issuing the licenses to residents.
She wished the Mayor Chanda and council leaders God’s blessings in their endeavours and encouraged other residents to acquire the licenses so that they could have legal documents to their land.
The issuance of occupancy licenses was also witnessed by acting Town Clerk Naomi Simwanza, Chairpersons of Council Committees, Chief Council officers, representatives from the Ward Development Committees (WDCs), some members of the clergy and civil society organisations.
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