THE three people who have sued the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) over the infamous 48 houses in Lusaka’s Chalala area have submitted that Charles Loyana, a senior accountant at the Ministry of Finance, remains qualified to own property in Zambia using funding from any legal sources of his choice.
In this matter, Uziel Bashire, Zuberi Bigawa (both Tanzianians) and Loyana have sued ACC in the Lusaka High Court, seeking declaration that Loyana had and has the requisite power and authority by law in Zambia to purchase, possess and own property in his name for his own benefit or for the benefit of any other person.
They also want the court to order that Bashire, a Tanzanian but currently residing in Norway, has an interest in the properties bought by Loyana and was to be the ultimate beneficial owner of the properties bought, and such Loyana as purchaser of the properties should be granted possession of the said properties.
But in its defence, ACC argued that Loyana did not challenge the forfeiture proceedings that were instituted by the commission despite being served with the notice of intention to have the said properties forfeited to the State.
ACC added that Loyana in a statement to it dated May 16, 2018, told the commission that he owned only two properties, that is, one in Chilenje and the other in Chalala.
Meanwhile, ACC submitted that there was no record of either Bashire or Bigawa (both Tanzianians) being granted an investment permit to enable them to invest in Zambia.
However, in their reply to ACC’s defence, the three argued that there was no law in Zambia that proscribed a foreigner from funding a local person who qualifies to own property to purchase property or to fund any such investment to require them first to have an investment permit.
They argued that thus, ACC’s understanding of the requirements of an investment licence to justify its illegal seizure of the properties was out of context and remains unjustified at law.
The three further argued that neither does there exist any law in Zambia that proscribes a foreign national from having an interest in any investment or property owned by qualified persons under the law in Zambia.
They stated that what the law prevents was owning the property in the foreigner’s name if that foreigner does not meet or does not qualify to own land in his/her name as required by law.
“Further, a transaction regarding sale and purchase of property between private parties as was the case herein was and remains a private contract between the parties to the transaction and the defendant (ACC) was never a party to the transaction. The third plaintiff (Loyana) remains qualified to own property in Zambia using funding from any legal sources of his choice and cannot be deprived of the said properties in the circumstances of this matter,” the three plaintiffs stated.
They maintained that ACC did not comply with the law in the process of seizing the said properties and would duly prove that at trial.