- Mr Bashire, Mr Bigawa and Mr Loyana also want a declaration that the arbitrary seizure and continuation of holding on of the properties was unlawful
THE Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has rejected the proposition that Tanzanian Uziel Bashire, is the owner of the infamous 48 houses in Lusaka.
ACC contended that Mr Bashire was not the owner of the properties as he did not have the capacity to own land in Zambia.
Mr Bashire, who lives in Norway together with Zuberi Bigawa, also a Tanzanian and Charles Loyana, a senior accountant at the Ministry of Finance, have sued ACC for seizing their property.
The trio want a declaration that the notice issued against Mr Loyana and other individuals no longer has effect in light of the rightful owner claiming the properties.
The notice was issued pursuant to the Anti-Corruption Commission (Disposal of Recovered Property) Regulations.
Mr Bashire, Mr Bigawa and Mr Loyana also want a declaration that the arbitrary seizure and continuation of holding on of the properties was unlawful
They also want an order for ACC to account and pay to Mr Bashire all the income received as rentals from the date of the seizure to the date of the order and or in the alternative profits.
But in defence filed in the Lusaka High Court on November 24, this year, ACC submitted that it followed the procedure of forfeiting the properties in dispute to the State.
ACC stated that the three complaints were not entitled to any of the reliefs contained in the statement of claim.
According to the ACC, it was mandated to prevent, detect and prosecute corruption related cases and any other offences under any law.
ACC stated that it does not agree that Mr Loyana denied having bought any property from Lombe Bwalya & Associates.
It stated that Mr Loyana’s wife in a statement informed ACC that she had only made one or two applications on behalf of other people and not the 24 applications alleged in the statement of claim.
ACC said it shall show that Mr Chali Chitala of then GM Legal Practitioners of Kitwe denied ever executing any documents relating to the ownership of properties.
The ACC added that during the interview, Mr Loyana denied buying any property from Lombe Bwalya and Associates despite him being issued with receipts for the purchase of the properties by the same firm.
It stated that a restriction and gazette notices were issued and added that the lot numbers in the notices were availed to ACC by Lombe Bwalya and Associates who were acting on behalf of the vendor.
ACC agreed that it was served a letter of claim by Messers Mambwe, Siwila and Lisimba Advocates which stated that the properties were owned by Mr Chitala but the advocates were not instructed to make a claim on his (Mr Chitala) behalf.
ACC stated however that Mr Chitala denied owing the properties and ever instructing Messers Mambwe, Siwila and Lisimba Advocates to retract the letter.
The ACC stated that Mr Chitala had never been to Lombe Bwalya and Associates to apply or buy the properties.
By the time a claim was made by Messrs Hobday Kabwe and Company, the properties had already been forfeited to the State.
The ACC agreed that the warn and caution statements were administered and Mr Loyana was asked about Lombe Bwalya and Associates.
According to a statement of claim, the plaintiffs stated that Mr Bashire was involved in international business among others investing in real estate, while Mr Bigawa was involved in provision of general construction services.
They added that Mr Loyana was operating at the Ministry of Finance as Senior Accountant and outside his employment conducts various businesses.
The trio stated that in 2011, Mr Bashire decided to invest in real estate in Zambia.
The plaintiffs stated that to achieve this, Mr Bashire through a Power of Attorney dated November 25, 2011, appointed his cousin Mr Bigawa and gave him power to nominate and delegate to a trusted Zambian to buy and develop real estate properties in Zambia.
The three stated that pursuant to the Power of Attorney, Mr Bigawa searched for a trusted Zambian and finally settled for Mr Loyana.
By a special power of attorney dated January 5, 2012, Mr Loyana was appointed to negotiate, sign and execute with the seller any document related to any real estate bought on behalf of Mr Bashire.