Lusaka High Court Judge Sharpie-Phiri has authorized late Minister of Gender Victoria Kalima’s sisters to sell three of the properties left behind by the deceased in order to liquidate the debts that she left behind.
In January this year, Kalima’s sisters applied for authority to sell part of the deceased properties, saying as administrators, they felt duty-bound to pay back some of the debts that she left behind.
Mutiyo and Alice Kalima, who are both administrators of the late Victoria, stated that on June 11, 2018, their sister died without leaving a will.
They stated that part of the estate of the deceased presently comprised of four properties.
The duo stated that they had consulted with the deceased’s two children, aged 15 and 12 years, over their desire to sell the properties.
But when the matter first came up for hearing on February 11, the Court adjourned the matter to March 19, and directed the applicants to file a further affidavit in support, showing proof of consent of the beneficiaries of the estate.
And following the Court’s direction, the applicant’s filed the same on March 15 and testified that they had obtained consent to sell the subject properties from their other sister, Mrs Allinancy Kalima Banda, who was the guardian of the two children.
The duo went further to show that the deceased was the majority shareholder in the company called ‘Plant Agrichem Services Limited,’ in which company the said minor children held minority shares.
They also exhibited bank statements and credit facility letter from Standard Chartered Bank, which showed the extent of indebtedness of the company and also that the deceased had provided a personal guarantee as security for the credit facilities.
One of the applicants also stressed that the debts of the estate stood at K3,500,000.
She concluded by stating that they had deemed it prudent to sell the said properties to settle the debts and preserve the more productive assets of the company.
And in her judgement dated, March 25, Judge Sharpe-Phiri noted that the evidence showed that the deceased personally offered herself as guarantor for various debts of the company, Plant Agrichem Services Limited, adding that the administrators of the estate were obliged to honour the obligations of the deceased.
She further stated that it was evident that the deceased, and now her estate, together with the two minor beneficiaries, had a legitimate interest in the financial and corporate affairs of Plant Agrichem Services Limited who stand to lose if the debts of the company were not settled.
“For the above reason, I do agree with the applicants that selling off the deceased’s personal assets in order to pay off the debts of the company is necessary and I so find,” Judge Sharpe-Phiri stated.
She, thereafter, found that the applicants were properly entitled to the relief being sought and accordingly authorized them to sell three of the properties namely; Plot no. 18160/M; Plot no. 18159/M and Plot no. 11926/M/9, all of Lusaka and which were on title.
“The administrator shall endeavour to secure the best possible price in order to liquidate the debts of Plant Agrichem Services Limited,” Judge Sharpe-Phiri ruled.
Regarding the fourth property, Stand No. LN-37087/90, Judge Sharpe-Phiri stated that the application for sale regarding that property had failed because the only evidence before her as to ownership was a copy of the offer letter issued by the Lusaka City Council to the deceased.
She added that she did not accept that as conclusive evidence of ownership of the property by the deceased.