RETIRED Justice Esau Chulu and five others have dragged a Chisamba resident to the Lusaka High Court for unilaterally adjusting the prices of land which they purchased from him.
Justice Chulu and five others, who have sued David Mwitumwa, have submitted that the defendant’s unilateral adjustment of the purchase prices for the proposed subdivisions purchased from him are a blatant breach of contract.
They add that they have been negatively affected as they are unable to obtain certificates of title or develop the said pieces of land.
Judge Chulu, Museke Chilufya, Beatrice Makukula, Kashoki Mubanga, Rabecca Lwando and Ignatius Mwanza are seeking exemplary damages, damages for mental distress and anguish as well as the specific performance of the various contracts of sale.
They also want interest on the amount due, costs of and incidental to the proceedings and any other relief the Court may deem fit.
According to a statement of claim filed in the Lusaka High Court, Judge Chulu and others stated that they entered into various contracts of sale with Mwitumwa, who is the beneficial owner of sub-division No. A of Farm No. 2161.
Judge Chulu stated that he entered into a contract of sale with Mwitumwa relating to 25 acres being proposed sub-division of Farm No. 2161 Chisamba in Chibombo District, Central Province on September 11, 2012.
He stated that the agreement between himself and Mwitumwa stated that the full purchase price for the property was K200,000,000, which is K200,000 rebased.
Judge Chulu added that the amount was payable by initial installment of K100,000,000 or K100,000 rebased on signing the contract and the balance thereof on or before completion.
He stated that he paid Mwitumwa K100,000,000 or K100,000 rebased upon the exchange of the contract of sale.
Judge Chulu stated that similarly, Chilufya, Makukula and Mubanga on May 30, 2013, were offered to purchase pieces of land in extent of five acres each in Chibombo area by Mwitumwa acting through his agents Nationwide Estate Agents at the price of K40,000.
“Chilufya, Makukula and Mubanga will aver that they have since paid the full purchase price of K40,000, together with K2,400 being the conveyance and lodging fees,” read the claim.
The plaintiffs stated that on the same day, Lwando was offered to purchase a piece of land in the extent of 10 acres by the defendant through his agents at the price of K80,000 and that she had since paid the full purchase price as agreed between her and the defendant.
They stated that Mwanza was also offered to purchase a piece of land by Mwitumwa at K150,000 and that he paid a deposit of K20,000 and was shown a piece of land that was on the road frontage of Great North Road in Chibombo.
“The sixth plaintiff (Mwanza) will further say that the defendant’s agents approached him and advised him that the piece of land that was offered to him had been offered to another purchaser and that he would be given another piece of land instead. The sixth plaintiff shall aver that he has since rejected that overture and insisted that he takes possession of the pieces of land that was initially offered to him,” read the claim.
The plaintiffs stated that despite Judge Chulu remitting the initial payment to Mwitumwa, he (Mwitumwa) neglected and willfully decided not to comply with the terms of the contract by failing to obtain consent to assign or to complete the contract with the 90 days allocated from the date of execution of the contract of sale.
They stated that on March 6, 2020, the defendant through his agents wrote a letter to Judge Chulu alleging that the contract of sale had become outdated, frustrated and expired due to excessive lapse of time without performance, therefore, the defendant through his agents purported to make a new offer of sale of the property at K360,000.
The plaintiffs added that similar letters were written to the other plaintiffs in breach of the earlier agreed terms of the contract.
They stated that the contents of the letters were to the effect that the purchase price had been adjusted upwards due to the inflation rate and kwacha’s depreciation against the dollar.
“The plaintiffs shall aver that the contracts and agreements, herein, were kwacha based and were quoted as such. Mwitumwa’s unilateral adjustment of the purchase prices for the proposed subdivisions purchased from him are a blatant breach of contract that has negatively affected the plaintiffs as they are unable to obtain certificates of title or develop the said pieces of land,” read the claim further.
They lamented that as a result of Mwitumwa, they have suffered loss of use of the said money, mental anguish and distress.