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Mwanawasa retirement house legal battle continues

By GRACE CHAILE

AN executor and trustee of late President Levy Mwanawasa’s estate, has asked the Lusaka High Court to join him to the matter in which litigants are demanding the  removal of  armed paralimitaries from the retirement house to allow  Lusaka University Limited take over the property as new owners.

Mr Constantine Chimuka Hangala, wants to be added to the proceedings as a third respondent and contends that his participation was crucial for ensuring the interests of the estate are heard and all matters are dealt with conclusively.

In this matter, the initial buyers of late President’s property, located in Chongwe, Ms Esther Chipasi and Mr Mustapha Kwabena Osuman, sued the Attorney General and the widow, Mrs Maureen Mwanawasa, alleging that she has refused to vacate the premises of the property which was being guarded by armed paralimitaries. The petitioners stated that the former First lady’s brother and sister are accommodated in the property in question.

They stated that before negotiations between them and Ms Mwanawasa could be concluded so vacant possession could be handed over to UNILUS, the Attorney General sent paramilitaries on the premises to chase away the current holder’s (UNILUS) security guards and representatives from the premises.

The petitioners alleged that the Attorney General also proceeded to place a caveat on theproperty on April 25, 2023, thereby interfering with what should be a private transaction between them and the former first lady.

In an application for joinder, Mr Hangala submitted that as executor, section 3 of the Wills and Administration of Testate Estate Act chapter 60 of the laws of zambia clothes him with authority to administer the estate of the late President and also makes him the estates’s representative. “Additionally, the property in question is the residue of the estate because it came into existence only after the passing of the late president. “In his will, the late President provided instructions on how to handle the residue. As the executor of the estate therefore,the intended respondent has an interest in the current case,and the outcome of the current proceedings will impact his duties and responsibilities,” he contended.

Ms Chipasi and Mr Osuman are seeking a declaration that Ms Mwanawasa no longer has both beneficial and legal interest in property and therefore the caveat that was placed by the Attorney General has no legal backing.  And that the Attorney General’s action to deploy paralimitaries onto the property in order to prevent UNILUS from enjoying quiet possession of the property violated the right to protection from deprivation of property and directly affected the petitioners.

They are claiming damages for the breach of their right and loss of anonymity.

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