25 Lusaka residents seek injunction restraining Zambezi Portland from trespassing, evicting them

TWENTY-FIVE Lusaka residents have sued Zambezi Portland Cement in the Lusaka High Court for fraudulently obtaining their land in Chalala area and demanding US$100 per square metre which amounts to US$120,000 per 40 by 30 plot, failure to which their houses will be demolished.

Andrew Mwansa and 24 others have cited Leonard Kanyanda, who was the seller of the plots on Lot no. L/18003/M and L/18004/M, Ital Terrazzo limited (in receivership), which assigned the property to Kanyanda and the Attorney General as the respondent in the matter.

The plaintiffs in their statement of claim stated that in 2011, they bought portions of land from Kanyanda on Lot no. L/18003/M and L/18004/M in Chalala, Lusaka and before paying for the said plots, they went to the Ministry of Lands to verify in whose name the title was issued and if there were any encumbrances on the entire land.

Mwansa and 24 others stated that results of their search revealed that Ital Terrazo limited was the title holder of the land to which they questioned Kanyanda in whose authority he was selling the land.

The 25 said Kanyanda produced a contract of sale executed between him and Ital Terrazzo, which was drawn by Messrs Shepande and company.

They said after production of the contract of sale, the plaintiffs were convinced and confident the land belonged to Kanyanda and paid him for the subdivided plots at the agreed price.

Mwansa and others stated that they built houses on the said pieces of land and were now occupying them since 2012 to date and have been paying statutory requirements through government agencies.

They said to their surprise, Zambezi Portland started claiming ownership of the land in question to which they are wondering how government allowed Zambezi Portland to acquire the certificate of title without proper verification and viewing of the land to find out who was on the property as per procedure.

“The plaintiffs were at pains when they learnt that the title certificates for Lot no. L/18003/M and L/18004/M exchanged hands without their knowledge as occupants of the said land,” Mwansa and others contended.

“The plaintiffs thereafter wrote to the Ministry of Lands to inquire how Zambezi Portland obtained the title certificates for Lot no. L/18003/M and L/18004/M and how it changed from Ital Terrazzo to Zambezi Portland.”

The plaintiffs said the state through the Ministry of Lands responded to their letter confirming that something was wrong and procedure was not followed at the said ministry.

“The point was made that the processing of documents for change of ownership and the applications was not supposed to be done in Ndola when the said land is in Lusaka, therefore there are no reasons for that action [which] was wrong and is not supported by the Ministry of Lands,” Mwansa and 24 others claimed.

They said Zambezi Portland fraudulently acquired their land and was demanding US$120,000 per plot plus eight per cent legal fees, which they cannot afford.

Mwansa and 24 others alleged that Zambezi Portland was threatening to demolish their properties and owing to its behavior, they were now living in fear and now want the court to grant them an order of injunction pending determination of the matter.

They want an order of interim injunction restraining Zambezi Portland whether by itself, its agents, servants or whomsoever from trespassing, evicting, issuing threats and disturbing them of the quiet enjoyment of their homes until the matter is concluded.

The 25 want a declaration that they are the rightful owners of portions of lands sitting on Lot no. L/18003/M and L/18004/M Chalala, Lusaka.

Mwansa and others want an order of cancellation of title issued to Zambezi Portland for having been fraudulently obtained.

They are further seeking damages, costs and other reliefs the court may deem fit.

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