The Lusaka High Court has ordered Zambia Airforce Projects Limited, Kingsland City Investment and three other construction companies to stop carrying out any further building and constructions works on Forest Reserve No.27 along Twin Palms Road.
On March 13, this year, Chalimbana River Headwaters Conservation Trust and nine traditional leaders of the Soli people sued Zambia Airforce Projects, Kingsland City Investment, Drimtown Investments Limited, Shangrila Investments Limited and Datong Construction Limited for carrying out construction works on a forest reserve.
They were seeking an injunction restraining the defendants from continuing with the construction of the Kingsland City Project in the area, and an order declaring that the developments are a threat not only to the Chalimbana River Catchment but the greater Lusaka Aquifer system.
In a court order dated April 24, 2019, the Lusaka High Court ordered the defendants to refrain from carrying out any further building and construction works on the forest reserve.
The court also awarded costs to the plaintiffs.
“Upon hearing counsel for the plaintiffs and upon reading the affidavit of one Moses Lukwanda (senior headman Maoma), it is hereby ordered and directed as follows: (i) That the defendants, whether by themselves or by their servants or agents or otherwise howsoever be and are hereby restrained from carrying out any further building and construction works or any other restricted actions.
On March 13, the plaintiffs who included; Headmen Nkomeshya, Maoma, Mwampekakanya, Kapamangoma, Mukankaulwa, Kayombo, Kapuka, headwoman Kabeleka, princess Cholwe Nkomeshya of the Soli people and Chalimbana River Headwaters, stated in a statement of claim that despite environmental sensitivity of ‘Forest Reserve No.27’, a number of construction projects had recently been commissioned in the area, with the main one known as ‘the Kingsland City Project’.
“Zambia Airforce Projects and Kingsland City Investment are the instigators of the Kingsland City Project with Drimtown Investments Limited, Shangrila Investments Limited and Datong Construction Limited carrying out construction works in the area through an agreement with with the Zambia Air Force Projects Limited,” read the statement of claim.
The plaintiffs stated that the defendants did not comply with the law regarding Environmental Impact Assessments prior to the commencement of the developments as no public hearings were held as required by the law.
They stated that as a result of this, the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) issued a Protection Order, ordering Drimtown Investments Limited, Shangrila Investments Limited and Datong Construction Limited to stop construction works and restore the area to its previous state.
The plaintiffs stated that despite the issuance of the Protection Order, the defendants had never complied and had continued to carry out constriction works on the environmentally sensitive area.