A CHAIRMAN of the Old Brentwood Drive Neighbourhood Association has sued Victoria Hospital Limited and three others in the Lusaka High Court for donating the health centre to the Ministry of Health for use as a Coronavirus screening and isolation facility.
Alick Sakala, who has cited Sumati Naik, Nimesh Naik and Janesh Naik as well as Victoria Hospital as defendants, says the setting up of tents and other infrastructure intended to be used as a COVID-19 screening and Isolation facility at the property had created grave apprehension to him, other residents and leaseholders owing to the deadly and infectious nature of the virus.
He is now seeking an order of injunction to restrain the defendants, their servants or agents from allowing usage or purporting to allow usage of the subject unit as a COVID-19 screening and isolation facility or as a hospital or for similar purposes.
In a statement of claim filed in the Lusaka High Court Principal Registry, Tuesday, Sakala stated that he was a leaseholder of unit six situated on a land known as Stand No. 6983 in Lusaka, which was a residential housing complex and a subject of a Common Leasehold Scheme.
He added that Sumati, Nimesh and Janesh Naik were the leaseholder of Unit 24 situated at the property.
Sakala explained that in June, 2007, Victoria Hospital, with the consent of the other three defendants, converted the use of the subject unit from residential to a Hospital.
He stated that owing to an objection to such usage of the Subject Unit by the other residents of the property on the ground that it was not appropriate to operate a hospital within a residential housing complex, Victoria Hospital was made to discontinue the said usage by order of the-then Minister of Local Government and Housing through a letter dated February 14, 2008.
Sakala, however, stated that it had now come to his attention that Victoria Hospital with the other defendants’ consent had purported to donate the Subject Unit to the Ministry of Health for use as a Coronavirus screening and isolation facility.
“The purported donation is in breach of Clause 2 (6) of the lease made between the President of the Republic of Zambia on the one hand and Zambia Airways Corporation on the other relating to the property, which restricts its usage to that of residential housing. Further, the Plaintiff and other unit holders and residents at the property have, since the purported donation of the Subject Unit to the Ministry of Health, been inconvenienced and have suffered grave nuisance,” read the statement of claim.
Sakala stated that they had suffered mental distress and anguish, had been harassed by Zambia Police officers, who had tried to enforce the conversion of the Subject Unit into a COVID-19 screening and Isolation centre.
He added that they also suffered high risk of infection arising from COVID-19 screening, isolation and other activities intended to be undertaken at the Subject Unit.
“The Plaintiff and other residents at the property are particularly concerned about the intended conversion of the Subject Unit into a COVID-19 screening and isolation facility owing to the close proximity of the units at the property to one another and owing to the fact that the units share various amenities, including, inter alia, sewerage lines and ancillary facilities and it is feared that the deadly COVID-19 infection can easily spread in such circumstances,” read the statement of claim.
“Further, the disposal and transportation of medical waste, patients and the dead from the location of Subject Unit at the far end of the property through the complex and out via the main gate poses yet further risks and is, in any event, undesirable in a residential set up such as that subsisting at the property.”
He now wants an order directing the defendants to restrict the usage of the Subject Unit to usage that was permitted under the Lease, as well as an order that the defendants desist from causing any nuisance or breach of his right to quiet enjoyment, among other claims.