Widows thrown out of NIECO houses
I would like to express my disappointment over the manner in which our Zambia’s High court and highest Supreme court of this land Zambia has handled our case. This is the case between the former employees of the defunct NIECOS OVERSEAS ZAMBIA LIMITED the Plaintiffs are Mrs. Emeldah M Bwalya a widow to the late former employee Mr. Lewis Bwalya , Ms Fadah Musamba the administrator for Late Lebby Musamba , Ms Beatrice Mayumbelo which was a parastatal company until 1995 and the defendant Mr. Eddie Kabunda Mabando House number 18 Chipululu, Libala stage 4A Lusaka who was dismissed by NIECOS at the time a parastatal . The said plaintiffs Mrs. Bwalya, Ms. Musamba and Ms Mayumbelo have been sitting tenants of former NIECOS flats for 17years plot number: 5992/1/2/3 Benakale road, Northmead, Lusaka
NIECOS was a parastatal company until 1995 when the company was privatized under a under Management Buy Out (MBO) , the plaintiffs who were employees of NIECOS served the company for over 15 years continued to work for the company even after the MBO without receiving any terminal benefits from the Company.
Between 2000 and 2001 NIECOS Overseas Zambia Limited (1995) went into Liquidation and ZANACO placed it on receivership. ZANACO by then had engaged a receiver known as Mr. Gupta who after recovering some of the assets was said to have left the country and handed over to Mr. G. Sizya.
In 2001 January the receiver manager Mr. Sizya advertised in the press to sell the property and at the reserve price of KR320,000.00. As sitting tenants we petitioned the action by the receivership engaged by ZANACO. And 2002 ZANACO wrote to us as sitting tenants and former employees of NIECOS that the receivership was lifted and no longer hand any interest in the property.
After a few weeks past Mr . Mabando who often visited the children to the deceased former employees just after the demise of their father Mr.Bwalya who was his close friend .
Mr. Mabando visited the families frequently and preaching the word of God as a Jehovah’s witness. When he heard that the receivership was lifted by ZANACO, he rushed to the High court to Sue the sitting tenants claiming his benefits according to a judgement passed in his favor against NIECOS OVERSEAS SERVICES (Z) Limited and on the 8th day of October 1998 his damages were assessed which came to KR78, 608.28 with interest at 40% interest per annum in a case ruled in favor of him against NIECOS for wrongful dismissal judgement number 1992/HP/1383
After this the High court ruled in favor of Mr. Mabando to go ahead to sell the Three flats at market value to recover his benefits due to him and the change should be shared among the employees.
However his lawyer Humphrey M Ndhlovu, of H H & Co , 3rd Floor Wood gate House , Cairo road, Lusaka claims to have sold the property at KR800,000.00 to recover the awarded benefits to Mr. Mabando.
Now the issue is that the houses were sold by Mr. NDHLOVU who paid off his client Mr. Mabando what he was claiming but what is surprising is that the person claiming to have bought the houses a Mr Noel Chisanga Puta is believed to be Mr. Ndhlovu ’s brother-in- Law. The same lawyer Mr. Ndhlovu is representing the buyer Mr. Chisanga N Puta who sued the plaintiffs and sitting tenants to vacate the premises.
The Tenants appealed to the Supreme court to be considered in this matter being unemployed widows and orphans so that they could be joined as parties to the sell of these houses which are worth over KR2MILLION as earlier stated in the High court order attached 2005/HP/093 but still the Supreme court ignored this court order and allowed Mr. Mabando and his lawyer H .H Ndhlovu as the only beneficiary to these three houses. The supreme court has not even bothered to consider the fact that the sitting tenants have also never being paid any benefits from the defunct NIECOS.
The Supreme court has turned a deaf ear to the plight of widows and orphans instead ruled in favor of Mr. Puta the buyer of the flats and ignored the earlier court order to be joined as parties passed in 2006.
The Supreme court in passing Judgement said that the buyer was an innocent person even and could take possession of the houses since they were no longer occupied when in fact it was not true. “we as the sitting tenants were still occupying the flats when the Supreme court Judgment was passed on …..
After Judgement was passed in 2012 the court bailiffs came to our residence and evicted the three families out in the cold rain on 6th December 2012.
We are now spending nights in the cold and our properties were thrown out in the rains we have made several appeals to the Supreme court and the Government to grant us a judicial reveal as we feel unfairly treated in this matter.
” My question is that is justice and the rule of law in this country only for the Rich and those with power while poor mothers widows and orphans are thrown out of their homes to become homeless destitutes? is the rule of law only for HH Ndhlovu and Puta “ May God fight this battle for use.
We have made several appeals to the Government Investigative wings to look into our case but the matter seems to be taking longer than expected.
And we also appeal that the Judiciary grants us a judicial reveal for we feel justice has not prevailed over our case. Even as this mail is being written we are homeless and ours homes are being broken down by contractor hired by the buyer Mr Puta who is said is based in South Africa. He has also hired security guards to heavily guard the premises.
Dear editor imagine helpless widows and orphans of three families being thrown out in the rains with no money or anything to fend for themselves.