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Residents who built on the Kafubu river banks illegally must demolish the structures on their own, Copperbelt Minister Japhen Mwakalombe has said.

Mr Mwakalombe told the owners of the illegal structures near the Kafubu River to voluntarily demolish their structures after an earlier ultimatum issued to them came to an end today.

He noted that the 14-daysultimatum which was given to the residents has ended.

The minister was speaking in an interview after an inspection of the area where he found that one of the residents had already started demolishing his structure.

Mr Mwakalombe said once the owners of the structures were done with the demolition process, the Ndola City Council would help ferry their blocks to an alternative area.

He said that council officers who signed the documents which the residents had presented as proof of ownership of the land in question, would be charged and pay for the reconstruction of the houses at a new location provided by the council.  He added that the papers needed to be approved by Water Resources Management Authority (WARMA) indicating that the place was safe for construction.  “We are not going to allow the construction of houses here because when the rains come, we will be risking a lot of lives,” he said.

And Ndola Mayor Amon Chisenga said that the council had written to affected developers to submit genuine documents. Mr Chisenga however noted that even if the residents had the legal documents, the area in question was not suitable for infrastructure development. Meanwhile, Patriotic Front (PF) Copperbelt chairperson Nathan Chanda distanced the ruling party from the illegal allocation of land in the province

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