By JULIUS PHIRI –
OVER 100 residents of Namboard area in Chipata District on Wednesday
ran amok and stoned vehicles belonging to Cargill Zambia Cotton Company
over a land dispute.
Police who rushed to the scene, had a tough time dispersing the unruly residents who wanted to be addressed by any senior Government official on the matter.
Eastern Province Police Commissioner Grace Chipalila said yesterday that no one was arrested in the fracas in which tyres were burnt by uncompromising residents.
“No one has arrested so far as we are still investigating the issue,” Ms Chipalila said.
The confusion started after residents who have built houses on the disputed land, believed to belong to the cotton company were issued with eviction letters.
The letters stated that people staying around Cargill area should vacate the premises by April 3, 2014, failure to which the company would demolish their houses.
The irate residents burnt tyres just outside Cargill offices to block vehicles from passing.
Some of the residents spoken to wondered how Cargill, which started operating in the area in 2009 could ask them to leave the land when they have been occupying the area since the early 80s.
When contacted for a comment, Cargill Zambia Human Resource manager, Mwaka McGeachy could not give his company’s position on the matter.