Salima District Council has served court summons to 18 people in the district for allegedly sharing out land at the district’s community centre ground where they started constructing shops without the council’s approval.

The council has since served the alleged land encroachers with injunctions to stop construction works on the site.

The local council’s Spokesperson, Grace Kapatuka confirmed the development and said the 18 people were to start appearing before court on Tuesday, March 10, 2020.

“They were asked to stop constructing at the site but did not comply with the council’s order. That is when we thought of engaging an extra gear and they were served with summons last Saturday,” she said.

The construction of shops at the community centre ground by the vendors resulted into fellow vendors from the main market to stop paying market fees, saying the vendors at community centre would paralyse their businesses.

In his comment, one of the concerned citizens, Boniface Saidi said the local council had taken a good step in taking the matter to court. He said land issues have been bringing chaos in the district.

He, however, blamed the local council for letting the vendors start constructing shops without legal documents and plans.

“It seems like the council lacked some seriousness at the beginning of this whole issue because they left the people to start constructing before the issues were settled,” said Saidi.

Representative of the group that has been summoned said he could not comment on the issue since the matter was in court and that it was the district council that was in a better position to talk about it.

Meanwhile, the high court has adjourned the case to next week.


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