THE Kafue Town Council has asked the Lusaka High Court to dismiss with costs, a matter in which Lafarge Zambia PLC has sued it, the Commissioner of Lands and another, over a piece of land situated in Shimabala area of Kafue district.
The council has also denied claims by Lafarge Zambia that the Commissioner of Lands while working in conjunction with it (Kafue District Council) approved the erroneous cancellation of among others, Lot No. 16326/M which belongs to Lafarge Zambia PLC, the re-planning of the same and remaining of extent of Farm 456A into a Police Farm.
The council submitted that it is neither a planning authority nor does it make any planning decisions but merely makes recommendations of the received applications that require planning permission to the Lusaka Provincial Planning Authority who have planning permission over it.
In this matter, Lafarge Zambia PLC has sued the Attorney General (Commissioner of Lands), Kafue District Council and Zambia Police Thrift and Credit Co-operative Society Limited, seeking a declaration that it’s the legal and rightful owner of the land in Shimabala measuring 63.2310 Hectares.
It also wants an order that the Commissioner of Lands and Kafue District Council provide details of all subdivisions created on its Land which is plot No. 16326/M and that the same be cancelled with immediate effect.
Lafarge Zambia is further seeking an order that Zambia Police Thrift and Credit Co-operative Society Limited remove its fence erected on its Land and that the portion of the said defendant’s (Zambia Police Thrift and Credit Co-operative Society Limited) Land extending into its property be cancelled with immediate effect.
But in its defence filed on March 4, this year, Kafue Town Council stated that it merely considered a report on the status of the re-planning exercise on farm 456a.
It denied the allegations and further asked the court to dismiss the case with costs.
“Save where expressly admitted, the defendant denies each and every allegation in the statement of claim as if the same were set out herein and traversed seriatim and pray that the case be dismissed with costs,” the council stated.
In a statement of claim, Lafarge Zambia explained that in June 2004, the Ministry of Lands issued it with a certificate of title for a piece of land situated in Shimabala which Land neighbours Zambia Police Thrift and Credit Co-operative Society Limited’s land.
It however stated that in February 2015, the Commissioner of Lands working in conjunction with the Kafue District Council approved for the erroneous cancellation of among others, Lot No. 16326/M which belongs to it and the re-planning of the same and remaining of extent of Farm 456A into a Police Farm.
Lafarge Zambia stated that after the re-planning was commenced, in October 2017, the Commissioner of Lands approved for numbering the new residential and small holding plots created.
“All that piece of land in extent 63.2310 which happens to be the plaintiff’s (Lafarge Zambia) mining reserve as a result of the re-planning and numbering, was drastically reduced from its original size, leaving only a hill,” read the claim.
It stated that the Commissioner of Lands and the Council’s conduct was unjust, and was done without any notice being given to Lafarge Zambia who is the rightful and beneficial owner of the property in question.
Lafarge Zambia stated that around December 2017, it discovered that there was an intrusion on the land and unauthorised activities such as fence erection and clearing of the land by Zambia Police Thrift and Credit Co-operative Society Limited whom it approached and later served a Notice of Encroachment.
The plaintiff further stated that it wrote to the Commissioner of Lands on May 24, 2018 informing them and seeking their indulgence on Zambia Police Thrift and Credit Co-operative Society Limited’s encroachment, without being aware that several subdivisions had been created to other unknown persons.
The cement making company stated that it was only after subsequent meetings with personnel at the Ministry of Lands that it was informed of the erroneous cancellation and replanning of Lot No. 16326/M as well as the existence of the other subdivisions, which to this date do not appear on its title even with a search from the Ministry of Lands.
The plaintiff stated that the restoration of its land to its original form and size was cardinal as the said land was a mining reserve for limestone, which was the main element in the production of cement which is its core business.