A law student at the Zambian Institute of Advanced Legal Education (ZIALE) has sued Matero PF member of parliament Lloyd Kaziya and seven others in the Lusaka High Court seeking an order that they stop interfering with the “quiet possession of his two plots”.
Others sued are Abel Kabinda and a Mrs Kabinda, Eunice Musonda, Luston Kunda, Alaida Phiri, Gracious Jama and Joshua Tembo.
Isaac Simbeye claims that Kaziya and the other defendants politically influenced officials at the Ministry of Lands by writing letters aimed at directing the Commissioner of Lands not to change the ownership of the properties to him.
In a statement of claim filed in the Lusaka High Court principal registry, August 30, Simbeye stated that he was the owner of plot numbers Lus36900 and Lus 36901, adding that soon after buying the said properties from the legal owners in 2012, a dispute arose between him and many other people, among them the Kabindas who were claiming plot number Lus36900.
He explained that to resolve the said dispute, he instituted the Subordinate Court Proceedings in February 2013 seeking, among other reliefs, damages and declaration that he was the legal owner of the property.
Simbeye stated that by close of Subordinate Court Proceedings, which lasted almost three years, there were no structures built at the properties due to an injunction order which was granted to him to prevent the defendants from trespassing on the properties.
He added that in September 2015, the court ruled in his favour.
Simbeye stated that two months after the judgment, the Kabindas served him with a notice of intention to appeal against the court’s judgment but added that as he was waiting for the actual appeal to be lodged, the Kabindas sold the plot to Musonda and Kunda, disguising it as Plot No 36901 under the contract of sale.
He stated that after learning about the sale and purchase, he immediately informed Musonda and Kunda about the court’s judgment but that the two defiantly continued to illegally erect structures at the plot.
Simbeye stated that he proceeded to take out contempt summons against the Kabindas after which their lawyer apologised on behalf of his clients, promising that they would not interfere with the plots again.
He stated that when he proceeded to put caretakers at the plots to look after the properties, the other defendant, Phiri, appeared from nowhere and sold one of the plots to two individuals, including the second last defendant, Jama.
Simbeye stated that having learnt about the court’s judgment, Jama offered to buy the same plot from him but he (Simbeye) rejected the offer stating that the properties were not for sale.
“Simbeye will aver that thereafter, to his surprise, Jama proceeded to start erecting structures on the plot on the slab which he found on the plot. All efforts by Simbeye to stop Jama, who was working in collaboration with Phiri, from erecting their illegal structures on the plot proved futile as they demonstrated total disregard to the existence of the court’s judgment,” read the statement of claim.
He further stated that after obtaining the judgment from the Subordinate Court Proceedings, he wrote to the Ministry of Lands requesting that the judgment be registered so that the change of ownership of the properties to his name could be effected.
Simbeye claimed that when the process of changing ownership of the properties to him was in advanced stages, Ministry of Lands officials working on the file informed him that they had received correspondence from Patriotic Front constituency officials at the instance of the defendants, to the effect that they were not satisfied with the court judgment and the said change of ownership process had since been stalled.
Simbeye further stated that in October 2018, the Matero member of parliament telephoned him demanding that he unconditionally reports to his office without questions, accusing him of having grabbed houses using courts and that he was calling in his capacity as member of parliament.
He claimed that in May this year, the defendants mobilized people who forcefully evicted his caretakers from the properties and took over by force and putting the same under the charge of Musonda and Jama.
Simbeye stated that on May 28, this year, he was arrested and charged with the offence of forgery and uttering, alleging that he had forged an NRC which the vendor gave him at the time of buying the properties.
He has further sued ZNBC, seeking a declaration that the story it aired which was indicating that he was a fraudster who had unlawfully and violently evicted one of the defendants’ family from the properties, was fake news and not in public interest.
“ZNBC, through its TV2, falsely and maliciously carried out the following story while flashing some copies of documents from the Subordinate Court Proceedings;…police have unearthed a scam…in which some residents of Lusaka’s SOS village area were being issued with fake eviction notices. Isaac Simbeye, aged 39, has been charged with forgery and uttering of false documents; more in this report…,” read the statement of claim.
He is now seeking a declaration that the defendants have acted in contumelious disregard of his rights and a declaration that the story aired by ZNBC was fake and not in public interest.
Simbeye is also seeking damages for defamation in the sum of K100,000 and an order that the defendants pay him exemplary damages in the sum of K150,000, among other claims.