TWO individuals who have sued UPND leader Haikainde Hichilema over a farm in Kalomo have asked the Lusaka High Court not to dismiss their matter on point of law.

The two have argued that they initiated court action against Hichilema to challenge the illegal and fraudulent takeover of their late father’s estate, adding that their prayers in the matter are for the cancellation of the said certificate of subdivision A of farm No. 1924 in Kalomo, Southern Province.

They have further claimed that they did not assign any portion of the farm to Hichilema and that they did not recall even assigning any portions of the farm, apart from selling 190 hectares to a Bernard Mazuba.

In this matter, Pheluna Hatembo, an administratrix of the estate of the late Samson Siatembo, and Milton Hatembo have sued Hichilema on allegations that he acquired and procured a farm in Kalomo illegally, fraudulently or without consent of the administratrix on behalf of the estate of the deceased.

The two are seeking an order that the assignment of Subdivision A of Farm No.1924 be reversed on account of fraud or misrepresentation, as well as, an order for damages for trespass to land without consent or license of the plaintiffs.

The plaintiffs also want, among others, cancellation of certificate of title No.42578 on account of fraud, misrepresentation and or mistake.

However, Hichilema had asked the court to dismiss the action on point of law, arguing that Subdivision “A” of Farm 1924, Kalomo was created, surveyed, marked off (from the parent Farm 1924, Kalomo) and assigned to him in 2005.

He stated that he was registered as a proprietor of the said Subdivision “A” of 1924, Kalomo measuring 2222.6549 hectares and a certificate of title was issued to him by the Registrar of Lands and Deeds on September 22, 2005.

Hichilema submitted that since 2005 to date, it has been 15 years of his ownership and occupation of the said farm and that the plaintiffs have never taken him to court for the cancellation of his certificate of title or charged him rentals or let alone evict him from the said farm until they sued him on October 28, 2020.

But Pheluna and Milton have argued that the matter was not an appropriate case to dismiss on a point of law.

They stated in their affidavit in opposition to the application by Hichilema to dismiss matter on a point of law, that they only sold 190 hectares of land to Bernard Mazuba and not 2,048 hectares as alleged or at all.

“Since the defendant (Hichilema) bought from Bernard Mazuba, the said Bernard Mazuba could only sell what we sold to him which is 190 hectors. We do not recall distributing the farm amongst ourselves. What we do recall is that we only sold 190 hectors to intestate Bernard Mazuba and we have since 2016 discovered that the said intestate did not occupy the said hectarage but instead occupied almost the entire farm,” they stated.

Pheluna and Milton further stated that since they did not deal with Hichilema and he was not known to them, they could not suspect that Mazuba was a front who went to take away their farm for nothing.

They added that since they discovered the fraud, they had caused a challenge to the fraudulent takeover of their deceased father’s farm.

“When we discovered in 2016, that our property has been assigned to the defendant, we have taken action in commencing this matter in court and challenge the defendant on how he has become vested of the large proportions of this property rent but instead he went to Lima Bank (now in liquidation) to discharge the mortgage on the property and again without our knowledge in collusion with the liquidators. We came to know recently that the firm that dealt with the liquidation of the said Lima Bank was linked to the defendant and we verily believe that he merely has been one of the liquidators,” they stated.

“I as the first plaintiff (Pheluna) did not sign any deed of assignment relating to the transfer of subdivision A of farm 1924 to the defendant and I verily believe that the same signature was procured by fraud and may not even be an authentic signature.”