ZACL sues Defense Ministry for trespassing

Zambia Airports Corporation Limited (ZACL) has sued the Ministry of Defence through the Attorney General in the Lusaka High Court, demanding damages for allegedly trespassing on its land and constructing concrete pillars.

ZACL is seeking an order that the ministry immediately demolish all developments made and vacate the land so that it carries out expansion works at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (KKIA) without any disturbances.

In a statement of claim filed in the Lusaka High Court, December 28, ZACL explained that government had embarked on various projects in the Aviation Sector which included; construction and rehabilitation of the new KKIA terminal building, airport hotel, air traffic control tower, shopping mall, among others.

It stated that on March 1, 2015, a certificate of title relating to Farm 4169 was issued in its name.

ZACL further explained that it had set aside Farm 4161 for the undertaking of various airport related projects to augment government’s efforts to create KKIA into a regional hub.

“The plaintiff has engaged a consultant to undertake a land use study of Farm 4169 to ensure the best use of the land. Further the plaintiff undertook a successful open tendering process and has proceeded to procure a private developer for a filling station on Farm 4169,” read the statement of claim

ZACl stated that on December 4, last year, it observed that concrete pillars were being erected on the said property by individuals who identified themselves as officers from the Zambia Army under the Ministry of Defence.

It stated that the construction of the concrete pillars was discovered to be part of efforts to build a perimeter fence around the land within Farm 4169 which the officers from Zambia Army alleged had been allocated to the Ministry of Defence.

ZACL claimed that the Ministry of Defence’s continued presence on Farm 4169 amounted to trespass, and was further an inconvenience, disruption and hindrance to the construction project and activities which were going on at the airport.

“Farm 4169 is also located in close proximity with with airplanes flying in and through the Zambian airspace’s flight path, as well as the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport’s second runway which is earmarked for construction in future phases of the airport’s projects,” read the statement of claim further.

ZACL further stated that the allegation by the Ministry of Defence that a portion of Farm 4169 belonged to them had not been supported by any official government documentation.

The corporation now prays for an order that the Ministry of Defence was trespassing on its land and was therefore not entitled to enter, use or park on the said property.

It is further seeking for an order that the Ministry of Defence immediately demolish all developments made and vacate the land to enable development works of expanding Kenneth Kaunda International Airport to be undertaken without any disruption, hindrance or disturbance.

And an order of injunction restraining the Ministry of Defence from interfering or taking any form of construction on the said land pending determination of the matter by the court.

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