By GRACE CHAILE-LESOETSA
THE Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has submitted that the matter where a Tanzanian businessman is claiming ownership of the 48 houses be dismissed as it is improperly before court.
ACC argued that since the proclaimed owner of the houses in Chalala area in Lusaka is challenging the commission’s decision making process in seizing the property, then the matter ought to have been commenced by way of judicial review and not through a writ of summons.
In this matter Norway –based Tanzanian National Uziel Bashire, his cousin Zuberi Bigawa and Mr Loyana, a senior accountant at the Ministry of Finance, have sued ACC in the Lusaka High Court for seizing their property.
The trio wants a declaration that the Notice issued pursuant to the ACC (Disposal of Recovered Property) Regulations, 2004 directed to Mr Loyana and other individuals no longer has effect in light of the rightful owner claiming the properties.
They were seekingba declaration that the arbitrary seizure of the properties despite the claim made by the rightful owner was unlawful.
Mr Bashire and two others want an order for ACC to account and pay to all the income received as rentals from the date of the seizure to the date of the order.
But according to an affidavit in support of notice of motion to raise a preliminary issue, ACC senior legal and prosecution officer Gloria Chisambisha stated that in the amended writ and statement of claim by the trio, it was noticed that the plaintiffs were now alleging that the commission did not comply with the provisions of the Anti-Corruption (Disposal of Recovered Property) Regulations,2004.
“ That since the plaintiff is challenging the decision making process of the defendant by using the words : “ did not fully comply with the law” and “null and void ab initio” as well as “unlawful and illegal,” then this matter ought to have commenced by way of judicial review and not via a writ of summons,” Ms Chisambisha submitted.
ACC submitted that it was its assertion that the court has no jurisdiction to hear the matter on the basis that the mode of commencement was irregular.
“ As a consequence of the foregoing arguments, the defendant prays that this honourable court dismisses this matter with costs on a point of law,” ACC submitted.