THE Anti-Corruption Commission has sued four tenants of the infamous 48 houses in Lusaka’s Chalala area in the Lusaka High Court for non-remittance of rentals.
The Commission is demanding 248,000 due to it as at April 30, 2021 to date from Changu Mukakanga, Harriet Chiyaba, Shanda Banda and Paul Wilombe.
It wants the court to issue an order for vacant possession of the flats known as plot no. A337/1989/M, A397/19897/M and A349/1989/M in Chalala, off Shantumbu Road, Lusaka.
ACC is seeking an order for leave to issue warrant of distress upon the goods of each tenant for recovery of the rent amount payable to the ACC in relation to the properties.
Robert Siwale in an affidavit in support of originating notice of motion said the properties in which the tenants are staying were forfeited to the state pursuant to gazette notice no.667 of 2018 under the previous Anti-Corruption Commission (disposal of recovered property) Regulations 2004.
He said ACC officers informed all the tenants of the 48 houses that the properties they were occupying belonged to the state following the forfeiture and ordered that rentals should be paid to ACC.
Siwale said on June 27, 2019, ACC wrote to the tenants and provided bank details through which rentals could be paid.
He said although the quartet started paying rent to ACC, the same has not been regular as shown by their individual rent account statements.
“The ACC made several demands and reminders for payment of rental arrears accrued by the respondents which yielded no results and proved to be futile,”Siwale said.
He stated that Mukakanga and Wilombe responded to the letters and committed to settle the rental arrears but to no avail.
Siwale said the tenancy agreement executed in November 2019 for one year expired in the last quarter of 2020 and was not renewed due to the continued default in payment of rentals by the four.
He said the quartet was written to by the Commission demanding settlement of the arrears before renewal of the tenancy agreement for the year 2021 but they were not responded to.
Mukakanga is owing the Commission K64,000, Chibaya is owing K58,000, while Banda is owing K72,000 and Wilombe owes K54,000.
Siwale said none of the four has disputed owing ACC and occupying the houses in the absence of a current executed written tenancy agreement.
He contended that the four have failed to settle the rent arrears and vacate the houses despite repeated reminders to pay the outstanding rental arrears without any lawful justification.
The Commission also wants interest at the current bank lending rate on the rent found due and payable to ACC.
It further wants costs and any other reliefs the court may deem fit.