27 Kabwe residents sue council over piece of land
By CHINTU MALAMBO FORMER Lwangwa ward councillor Bernard Chisanga and 26 others have dragged Kabwe Municipal council to court demanding a restraining order that the plots it intends to turn into a transit bus stop belong to them.
The applicants have also demanded damages for unlawful occupation and development of their plots at Tushane Complex opposite the new shopping mall along the along Great North Road.
They are also seeking an order of interim injunction restraining the council from clearing, developing, leasing, advertising or selling the plots until final determination of the matter.
They claimed that the council had been arrogant and threatened to continue with the construction of a bus station on their commercial plots without compensation.
In a statement of claim filed in the Lusaka High Court, the applicants indicated that in 2014, the Council advertised commercial plots to which they responded and were successful applicants.
They submitted that they paid acceptance of offer charges and development charges and were allowed to start developing the said plots.
It was alleged that the council later started developing the plots without regard to the procedure for repossession or adequate compensation of the said plots.
“The council however, started developing the area into a transit bus station without notification nor correspondence to the effect that they intended to repossess the said land.
“Inquiries into why the slabs and developments we had put were erased using graders, we were informed that the council had started developing the land into a transit bus station,” they submitted.
The applicants however, said that until they were compensated adequately or until they consent to the land being repossessed from them, the procedure for re-entry and repossession had neither been done nor compensationfor their land.
They claimed that the town clerk and the mayor had been supervising graders clearing the said plots and that the amount of interest from the two officers had caused anxiety among the applicants.
Subsequently, the applicants will aver during trial that once land had been granted to any successful applicant, the council had no power, authority or right to revoke the said grant without following the procedure laid down in the Lands Act, Lands Circular of 1985 and Article 16 of the Constitution.