Chita Lodge Limited has asked the Lusaka High Court to grant it permission to appeal against the decision of the court to dismiss with costs, an application in which it wanted special leave to apply for judicial review, challenging the seizure of its properties in Ibex Hill.
In this matter, Chita Lodge through its managing director, James Chungu had sued the Drug
Enforcement Commission (DEC) and the Attorney General in the Lusaka High Court for allegedly seizing its property in
Lusaka’s Ibex Hill on the premise that it was owned by former Zambia Air Force Commander, Lt General Eric Chimese.
It had argued that the seizure of the property was irregular, illegal, unfair and unreasonable, as the said premises have never belonged to Chimese.
However, on July 12, this year, the court issued an order, dismissing Chita lodge’s application with costs and no leave to appeal was granted on the said order.
But in an affidavit in support of summons for leave to appeal to Court of Appeal dated July 26, Chungu stated that Chita Lodge was dissatisfied with the said decision of the court, and that it was desirous of exercising its right of appeal, consequently it sought leave to do so.
He stated that the court dismissed his application on grounds that it should have timely decided it’s fate instead of delaying the remedy of review on irregularities that their counsel was attending a conference in Livingstone, because the reason was not compelling.
Chungu stated that the reason that Chita Lodge had advanced was genuine and compelling as the court ought to have taken judicial notice of the fact that there was a Commonwealth Law Conference and Law Association of Zambia annual general assembly in Livingstone from April 8, 2019 to April 13 2019.
He added that Chief Justice Irene Mambilima had issued a memo suspending court proceedings during the said period to facilitate for advocates to attend the conference and annual general assembly.
Chungu added that he strongly believed that the court should have taken judicial notice of the foregoing and exercised it’s discretion to give him the benefit of the doubt.
Chungu stated that the intended appeal was of merit and therefore, there was a great possibility that it would be sustained.