By BENNIE MUNDANDO
THE Chinese company constructing a mall in Roma has admitted that the community was not consulted at the inception of the project but that the firm had all the relevant documentation from all relevant institutions and that the anomalies are being rectified.
This follows a protest by Roma residents to the Lusaka City Council through a letter dated August 14, 2018 which was addressed to the Town Clerk in which they objected to the development saying the community was never consulted and that no public notice was erected outside 226/441 to inform them on what was being constructed.
They argued that other than towering over neighbouring structures in the residential area thereby denying them their basic right to privacy, the multi-storey building will compromise the sanitation situation in Roma as no facilities had been put in place to transform the area from being a residential to mixed development zone.
“A major development on this location is misplaced and will cause water and sanitation problems. The waste disposal from the major structure will further put a strain on the water and sanitation system. We will not accept short-cuts which will put our health at risk especially that at the beginning of the year, we were dealing with a national cholera crisis.
But speaking to the Daily Nation yesterday, Zambezi Mall head of marketing and sales, Kennedy Chifinsa said that other than the community not being consulted, the company had all the necessary documentations and approvals from all key institutions such as the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) and the council.
Mr. Chifinsa said the company held a meeting with the community last week at which the differences were ironed out and that all the shortcomings that were highlighted in the meeting were receiving the attention they deserved, and that some of them had already been rectified.
“Of course some of the things that were written by the community in their letter to the council were not correct and that was because there was no engagement from the onset with them and in the meeting we had last week, these suspicions were ironed out and the shortcomings identified are being rectified.
“Assertions that there was no assessment from ZEMA were not true because we have all the documentation and ZEMA gave us a go ahead on March 1, 2018. We are not here to fight with the community. We are here to bring development and we are ready to work with them. We had a very cordial meeting last week and the concerns raised were addressed while misconceptions were also clarified and from us, there is no problem,” Mr. Chifinsa said.