By Rick Nchito
Outgoing President Edgar Lungu has finally gazetted the land where Horizon school sits to house a shopping mall for his Chinese friends. Lungu has sold this land to his Chinese friends for over US$20 million which is believed to have been paid in cash.
In addition to the cash, Lungu and Lands Minister Jean Kapata have also been promised three shops at the Mall whose construction will commence soon once the school is demolished.
State House sources have disclosed that the the whole deal was finalised in September this year including payments. “It is unfortunate that the President can go round grabbing land like this. No one is now safe,” he said. “It was very shocking to hear the Head of State telling Lands Minister Jean Kapata that he wants a shopping mall there and not a school which is currently there.”
And officers at the Ministry of Lands were also in shock when they were told to prepare the acquisition documents which will see the demolishing of the school to pave way for the construction of a shopping mall.
“We still can’t believe it that a Head of State doesn’t value education like that. Kenneth Kaunda prioritised education and no wonder most schools we have in Lusaka were built during his time. He even encouraged the construction of private schools to supplement government efforts in bringing education closer to the people. But today, government wants to reverse that. To them, a Chinese shopping mall is very important than a school which is there,” she said.
“But this is unfortunate because it is now clear that the President and those close to him will be grabbing land using State Power for their own benefits. Zambians wake up! Today, it may be Horizon School, tomorrow it will be your house where government will say they are interested in the piece of land where your house is built. This must stop. It’s a pity we are working under instructions here and there is nothing we can do to stop it but it’s very sad that a President can demolish a school for a shopping mall.”