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Nakonde residents sue ZRA for seizing their maize trucksBy Zondiwe Mbewe on 24 Apr 2018
Three Nakonde residents have sued the Zambia Revenue Authority and the Attorney General for illegally seizing and detaining 400 bags of maize and two trucks saying they have suffered loss of business and income as a result.
Isaac Musukwa registered owner of a Scania Rigid Truck, Jackmore Kalaba registered owner of a Volve Truck and Joy Siame owner of the 400 x 100kg bags of maize are seeking damages and an order that the defendants must release the maize.
According to a statement of claim filed in the Lusaka High Court, April 17, the plaintiffs stated that Siame decided to move the bags of maize from his farm in Ndingindi area to a safer and dry storehouse in Nakonde Town because the storehouse at his farm was leaking.
They explained that the maize was likely to rot if it was not moved to a safer place.
The plaintiffs further stated that on December 22, 2016, Siame hired Musukwa and Kalaba to transport his bags of maize from his farm at Ndingindi and they were to use their trucks, Scania Truck and Volvo, to ferry the maize.
They stated that on their way back from Ndingindi farm, the Scania Truck was impounded by the Attorney General’s employees at Iwula Junction along Great North Road and the driver was ordered to pack the truck at ZRA Inland Port.
The plaintiffs further stated that around 05:00 hours, Zambia National Service (ZNS) officers and Attorney General’s employees impounded the Volvo Truck at a place 10km away from Ndingindi farm.
“On December 22, on their way back from Ndingindi farm and while loaded with maize, the Scania Truck ACR 2732 reached Iwula Junction along Great North Road, 15km from Nakonde Town at 03 hours when it was stopped by Zambia National Service Officers, the Attorney Generals employees. They immediately impounded the truck, ordered and escorted the driver of the truck to pack at Zambia Revenue Authority Inland Port while loaded with the consignment of maize. Around 05 hours the Zambia National Service Officers impounded the Volvo Truck Registration No. ACM 8734 at a place 10km away from Ndingindi farm. The said truck was driven away and parked at 2nd defendant, the Attorney General’s Inland Parking Area,” they stated.
The plaintiffs stated that January 10, 2017, the drivers of the said trucks were recalled and ordered to drive the trucks to Mweenzo Depot.
They stated that once there, the maize was offloaded and the trucks driven back to ZRA’s Inland Parking facility where the drivers presented with seizure notices.
“On January 10, 2017 the drivers of the said trucks were recalled and ordered to drive the trucks to Mweenzo Depot where the 400 bags of maize were offloaded from the trucks in the presence of the Zambia National Service Officers and Zambia Revenue Authority officers. ZNS and ZRA officers upon completing the offloading of the trucks did use part of the maize to pay the persons they hired to offload the maize. Further the truck drivers were ordered to drive the trucks back to ZRA’S Inland Parking facility and the drivers presented with seizure notices for the seizure of trucks on allegations of smuggling maize,” they stated.
The plaintiffs stated that the defendants had since been in possession of the trucks and bags of maize on false allegations that they intended to smuggle the maize to another country.
They disclosed that the defendants had not informed them on the whereabouts or condition of the trucks and maize.
The plaintiffs observed that the defendant’s allegation was baseless as the trucks were impounded as they were transporting the maize from one place to another within Zambia for safe keeping.
The plaintiffs stated that they had requested the defendants to release the trucks and maize, however, the defendants had failed to respond to any correspondence made to them and had only released the trucks.
They stated that due to the illegal seizure, they had suffered loss of business, income and great inconvenience.
They claim for damages for illegal seizure and detention of maize and trucks, an order that the defendants release the 400 bags of maize in the alternative compensation in lieu of, damages for loss of business, interest, costs and other reliefs the court deemed fit.
About Zondiwe Mbewe
Zondiwe is a vibrant young Zambian journalist who has interest in writing political and current affairs on issues which affect every Zambians. She draws inspiration from journalists who stand for what is right and are not afraid to tell and show the truth to the people.
Email: zondiwe [at] diggers [dot] news
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