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High Court stays possession order granted to Bukomo Mining for gold mine in Mumbwa’s Lwili village

THE Lusaka High Court has stayed the eviction order it granted to Bukomo Mining limited over the disputed gold mine in Lwili village of chief Shakumbila of Mumbwa district.

Justice Sharon Newa said the eviction order against Luiri Gold Mine and others would be halted pending determination of the matter in which Bukomo Mining limited sued Luiri Gold Mines limited, Allan Mwanza, Godfrey Manda, Nelson Sikochi David Mwenda, Amybin Kalenda, Charity Lutangu, among others, over seeking an eviction order for the defendants to be removed from the area over which it held the gold processing licence.

Bukomo Mining was also seeking damages for loss of business as a result of the defendant’s failure to vacate the area.

When the matter came up for hearing of Bukomo Mining’s application to set aside the writ of possession and the ex-parte order for eviction on September 29, 2020, Luiri Gold Mine’s lawyer told the court that the defendant wished to raise preliminary issues on points of law pursuant to order 14A of the Rules of the Supreme Court.

The defendant’s counsel argued that Bukomo Mining had no locus standi in the matter as it was attempting to re-litigate matters that were already decided upon by the court.

Luiri Gold Mine said Bukomo Mining could apply for review or interpretation of the judgment or even appeal which it did and the appeal was dismissed for want of prosecution.

The defendant argued that the complaint had no authority to make the application before court on the basis that the court’s final judgment made clear findings of fact and law that Bukomo Mining was not entitled to property that it was seeking.

Luiri Gold Mine said the court in its judgment of September 28, 2019 found that Bukomo Mining did not have a legal entitlement to the property, which was the basis of the application before court and had no right to make the same application.

The defendant further stated that Bukomo Mining should demonstrate that it had a cause of action upon which liability could be attached to Luiri Gold Mine or upon which it can establish a right to a judgment in its favour.

Luiri Gold Mine said Bukomo Mining seeks to set aside the writ of possession and the order for eviction when it was not legally entitled to the assets.

“The application is academic or an abuse of the court process. The preliminary issues raised should succeed as it is in the public interest that there must be an end to litigation,” Luiri Gold Mine said.

In response, counsel for Bukomo Mining said nowhere in the judgment of the court does it show that the court granted Luiri Gold Mine the right to possess the properties or grant them ownership of the said properties.

Bukomo Mining said to seek possession, an order of the court should have been obtained and had that been done, Bukomo Mining would have explained that the circumstances had changed since the judgment.

It said Luiri Gold Mine was under liquidation and none of the defendants had shown that they had rights to an order of possession or eviction as the court rejected the mine’s claims but Luiri Gold had no right to the property.

In reply, Luiri Gold Mine said there was a risk of re-litigation in the matter and Bukomo mining’s rights were distinguished by the judgment.

In her ruling, justice Newa dismissed the preliminary issues raised by Luiri Gold Mine and directed it and its co-defendants to file an affidavit in opposition and skeleton arguments by October 21, 2020 and that Bukomo should file an affidavit in reply by October 30, 2020 and she will render her ruling.

“In the meantime, the writ of possession and order for eviction are stayed pending determination of the application,” said judge Newa.

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