Zambia Italian Orthopaedic Hospital has dragged Franciscan Missionary Sisters Registered Trustees Zambia to the Lusaka High Court, seeking a declaration that it is the registered owner of the hospital.
The hospital further wants an order that the Franciscan Missionary Sisters immediately yield up and give vacant possession to the hospital.
In an affidavit in support of originating summons, Peter Garfield White, a British national and treasurer of the Zambia Italian Orthopaedic Hospital, stated that it was a matter of record that according to Certificate of Title number L2733, dated May 24, 1995, the hospital was the duly registered owner of stand No. 8105 situated in Lusaka.
He explained that on December 1, 2009, Franciscan Missionary Sisters Registered Trustees Zambia were engaged under a contract of service to administer the medical operational services of the hospital constructed on the said property and owned by Zambia Italian Orthopaedic Hospital.
White stated that it was also a matter of record by way of a letter directed to the Commissioner of Lands from Sr Ilaria Deslato dated January 27, 1994, clearly stated that stand no 8105 should be registered in the name of the Zambian Italian Orthopaedic Hospital.
He stated that the hospital incorporated a Company Limited by Guarantee called “Zambian –Italian Orthopaedic Hospital Limited”, on July 29, 2010 for the executive management of the hospital on the property.
White stated that the Guarantees of the Company Limited by Guarantee were listed but added that, none of the members of the congregation of the Franciscan Missionary Sisters Registered Trustees Zambia were listed as Guarantees.
“I am not aware of the Franciscan Missionary Sisters Registered Trustees Zambia being authorised to vary, amend, or alter the names of the Guarantees and or the name of the Company Limited by Guarantee as incorporated by Zambia Italian Orthopaedic Hospital,” read the statement of claim.
White disclosed that the Service Agreement between the hospital and the Franciscan Missionary Sisters for the administration of the medical services of the hospital was terminated in writing.
He however stated that without authority of the hospital, the Franciscan Missionary Sisters Registered Trustees Zambia on October 30, 2014 applied for and made a name change of the Company Limited by guarantee to the name of ‘St John Paul II Orthopaedic Mission Hospital Limited’.
White stated that the hospital corresponded with the Franciscan Missionary Sisters Registered Trustees Zambia, disputing the name change and demanding the reversal of the same on November 20, 2014.
He stated that it was matter of record following a complaint lodged by the hospital to the Registrar of the Patents and Companies Registration Agency over the change of name of the company Limited by Guarantee, to which letter, the acting assistant registrar responded in his letter addressed to the Archbishop of Lusaka dated January 29, 2015.
White further stated that without the notice or consent of the hospital, the Franciscan Missionary Sisters commenced legal action on March 4, 2015 against the Company Limited by guarantee and inter alia the Trustees, seeking among other reliefs, dissolution of the company limited by Guarantee and an order to obtain or transfer title over the property in dispute to them.
He, however, stated that the action was struck out with liberty to restore upon payment the applicants costs, which judgment was delivered on July 12, 2019 but to date, it had not been restored.
White further stated that in May this year, it came to the hospital’s attention that the Franciscan Missionary Sisters pledged the property to Indo Bank Zambia Limited to secure a facility by way of a third party mortgage in the sum of K770,000.
He added that on September 27 this year, he wrote to the Franciscan Missionary Sisters, demanding the return of the Certificate of Title but to date, he had not received the return of the said Title Deeds.
The hospital is now seeking a declaration that Zambia Italian Orthopaedic Hospital, whose names appears on the certificate of title number L2733, dated May 24, 1995, is the registered owner of the said property, among other reliefs.