Miles Sampa’s office turned into battle ground

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There was commotion at Lusaka Mayor Miles Sampa’s office at Civic Center on Tuesday when thugs hired by illegal developers at Comesa Market roughed up representatives of the legal landowners in the area.

On Monday, Sampa became the latest senior government official to tour the Comesa Market following reports of lawlessness in the area being perpetrated by a criminal gang that has erected illegal structures on gazzetted roads.

The gang, led by a Ugandan national named Farouk Mwale and backed by some ruling Patriotic Front (PF) officials, has constructed makeshift stores on public installations such as roads around Kanele Mall and Comesa Market.

After Sampa visited the area, he indicated that a “50-50” agreement can be made between the illegal developers and the legitimate businesses owners. He then invited both parties for a meeting at his office at 11:00 hours but the Farouk Mwale-led illegal developers hired thugs to attack representatives of legal business owners. This forced the representatives of legal business owners to abandon the meeting.

One of the representatives of legal business owners at Comesa spoken to wondered why Lusaka Mayor Miles Sampa “recognized” Farouk Mwale and his gang by giving them an audience when it is clear they are committing crimes.

The representative stressed that Farouk Mwale and his gang should actually be arrested for selling land that does not belong to them and criminally trespassing on other people’s land.

The Urban and Regional Planning Act No. 3 of 2015 in section 71 clearly states that:
A person commits an offence if that person:
a) without lawful authority, uses or occupies any piece or parcel of land or building in an area to which this act applies,
b) Erects any building or structure in any area to which this Act applies without the prior approval of the planning authority within whose jurisdiction the land is situated.
A person convicted of an offence under this Act is liable to a fine not exceeding two hundred thousand penalty units or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years or both.

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