Over 50 of senior Chieftainess Nkomesha Mukamambo II’s subjects have dragged a senior paramilitary officer and 119 Zambia Police officers to court for allegedly taking possession of land they were using for farming without considering them as occupants.
Evaristo Kabwe, on behalf of 57 others, has also sued the Commissioner of Lands, the Chilanga District Council and the Attorney General.
In a statement of claim filed in the Lusaka High Court, November 29, the plaintiffs stated that they were subjects under senior Chieftainess Nkomesha Mukamambo II and were in possession of the land known as L/10196 situated in Lusaka West, Chilanga District, since 1991.
They stated that they were a local community in possession of the said land, which they had used for farming of different crops for 12 years and above.
The plaintiffs added that they were legitimately and rightly entitled to the quiet enjoyment and use of the said land.
They stated that the first defendants, police officers, had continued to make fraudulent misrepresentation that the said land was owned by Zambia Police Service when in fact not.
“Zambia Police Service has no certificate of title to the said land as alleged. On the contrary, the plaintiffs continue to be the persons legitimately and rightly entitled to the possession and quiet enjoyment and use of the said land,” read the statement of claim.
The plaintiffs disclosed that in 2017, they saw the first defendants bring a private surveyor and shared the said land in their individual names without taking into consideration the plaintiffs who were also interested parties.
They alleged that there had been connivance between the police officers and the Commissioner of Lands to try and deprive them of the said land.
“The Commissioner of Lands has fraudulently and corruptly offered the said land to the first defendants to be alienated to them by fraudulently issuing purported offer letters for the said land to the first defendants,” read the statement of claim further.
The plaintiffs are now seeking for a declaration that they were legitimately entitled to the possession of the said land and were rightly entitled to be alienated to the said land in their individual names for having been in possession of it for 12 years and above.
They are further seeking for a declaration that the purported intended alienation of the said land to the officers is irregular, illegal and ultra vires because they were not consulted.
The plaintiffs are also seeking for an order of injunction restraining the police officers from further attempting to have the said land alienated to them, entering upon the said land and also from harassing, intimidating or interfering with the plaintiffs’ occupation or use of the land in question.
Further, an order for payment of adequate and substantial compensation by the defendants to each plaintiff for the unlawful deprivation of the said land, interest on all sums found due, cost and any other reliefs.