MORE than 72 families have finally been evicted by the new owners of the former African National Congress (ANC) flats in Lusaka’s Villa Elizabetha area.
Women for Change (WfC), which purchased the flats from the ANC, used court bailiffs during the week to force out all the residents occupying the flats.
The residents have, however, complained and accused the WfC of corruptly acquiring the flats which they had been occupying for around 20 years now.
However, WfC chairperson Margaret Maimbolwa said in a statement that – Hide quoted text – her organisation was the rightful owner of the flats as it had bought them from ANC.
She said that was even confirmed by the court after a 17-year battle with the tenants.
“ANC engaged Anderson and Anderson International, a firm of property consultants, first to manage the flats, and later sold these flats to WfC. WfC bid for the flats following an advertisement by Anderson and Anderson International which appeared in the Times of Zambia and its bid was successful and following payment, the flats were handed over on November 2, 1998,” she said.
Dr Maimbolwa said the tenants resisted the purchase of the flats and commenced legal action in the High Court in 1998 against WfC, ANC and Anderson and Anderson International, a matter in which the High Court ruled in favour of WfC.
The tenants were unhappy with the High Court judgment and decided to appeal to the Supreme Court and again the tenants lost the case, while the Supreme Court was sitting in Ndola on June 2, this year.
“To this end, WfC, through its lawyers and the Sheriff of the Republic of Zambia, was compelled to execute the eviction notice on all tenants, the action taken in pursuit of the fruits of the final judgment,” she said.
However, the tenants through their representative Towela Chipeta, have maintained that WfC was not the legal owner of the flats neither was ANC, arguing that the rightful owner was Star Furniture Company.
Ms Chipeta said in an interview that the tenants had since reported what they alleged to be a fraudulent sale of the flats to relevant law enforcement agencies.