I spent a good chunk of my early years in Livingstone. Pretty much been a Livingstoner from 1984 when the family moved from Ndola where I was born. My first job in Zambia was in Livingstone in 2004 when I was posted here by the government. My roots here are deep and well grounded, in other words I know this town in and out.
Livingstone had public amenities of all sorts. Added to that were several public commercial and community properties. However, a lot of these public premises and properties have mysteriously fallen into private hands making these conveyances extremely suspicious.
This town once had an Olympic swimming pool, sports complexes, hotels & motels, play parks, boating & angling clubs, recreation centres, world class 18 hole golf course and township welfare centres, amongst others. These facilities served this town very well and contributed a lot to society’s well being. Most of them generated income for the Local Authority, now referred to as the Livingstone City Council (LCC).
It has never been clear to me, as well as to many others, why public premises, amenities and properties changed ownership into private hands. Surely, it doesn’t make sense to sell a well built and equiped sports complex to an individial who in turn only degrades and runs down the principal purpose of the facility.
I think that we need answers on how most of these properties were lost to individuals. I know others may argue that let by-gones be by-gones but I beg to differ. If we don’t seek understanding or closure to some of these matters, we may not make the desired progress as a society.
If illegalities were committed, then us who demand answers must be informed as such because it’s our right to know. Honestly, the beautiful Livingstone town of yester year has been stripped naked and left to dry in the sun. It’s not fair that some individuals benefited from valuable pieces of real estate which in essence belonged to each one of us as residents. I know that in some cases, there was no tendering or advertisements undertaken in order to sell to the best bidder. Sometimes it seems like those in authority were just literally cherry picking and sharing out amongst themselves.
This strip off must never have happened in the first place. If there’s any way that these premises and properties can be reclaimed, then I would urge the LCC to rise to the challenge. If criminality is discovered, then please let’s cage the thieves and set an example to those would-be property grabbers.
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