By PERPETUAL SICHIKWENKWE -
COMMERCE Deputy Minister Richwell Siamunene has sued Government over a decision to cancel ownership of a piece of land which he says legally belongs to him.
Mr Siamunene, who is UPND Sinazongwe Member of Parliament (MP), wants the Lusaka High Court to direct the Commissioner of Lands to re-register the piece of land on Farm Number 215 (a) in Lusaka into his name.
In a writ of summons filed in the principal registry, Mr Siamunene said the decision by the Commissioner of Lands to cancel the certificate of title was illegal and as such, the court should declare him the rightful and innocent purchaser of the land without notice of any adverse interest.
Mr Siamunene, who has sued Attorney General Mumba Malila and the Commissioner of Lands as first and second respondent, respectively, said in 2008, he bought two five-acre portions of land from Edmond Bwalya, who is now deceased.
He said a diligent search he conducted indicated that the late Bwalya was the beneficial owner and that there was no third occupant of the land.
Mr Siamunene, however, said when he went to file documents to transfer the two farms in his name, the then Chief Registrar of Lands, Lynn Habanji informed him that there was a court judgment that directed the Commissioner of Lands to issue the two portions of land in favour of Gilbert Mwamba and Lovemore Mwale respectively.
He said after a meeting was held with all the parties involved, it was resolved that the portions of land sold to Mr Mwamba and Mr Mwale were separate from those sold to him and as such he proceeded with the purchase.
Mr Siamunene said it was not until the demise of Mr Bwalya last year that he encountered problems.
This was when the Chief Registrar and Deeds acting on behalf of the Commissioner of Lands informed him that he was cancelling the certificate of title issued to him as it was issued in error and that there was a judgment in favour of a Mr Sampa.
He said despite his explanation in a letter that the cancellation of the title was illegal, the Commissioner cancelled the title in effecting the judgment in favour of Mr Sampa.