Tue, 28 Feb 2017 10:49:45 +0000
By BENNIE MUNDANDO
THE Zambia Red Cross Society has dragged the Attorney General as third defendant for irregularly issuing a certificate of tittle to Bedrock Estimates Limited through the Commissioner of Lands for Red Cross House in Lusaka’s Long Acres which legally belonged to the society.
This is in a matter in which Red Cross has sued Bedrock Estates Limited, First Alliance Bank, and the Attorney General for fraud as first, second, and third defendants respectively.
According to details from a statement of claim filed in the Lusaka High Court, in February 2011, Red Cross obtained a loan from First Alliance Bank of over K537,500 and that due to financial challenges, Red Cross defaulted to repay and as a result received an order to pay the outstanding amount of K497, 9112, 717.60 within 14 days.
But due to mounting pressure, the Red Cross board resolved to sell property on plot No. 2837/A at K12,100,100 to liquidate its debts which included one owed to the bank and that it notified the bank about the decision to which the financial institution indicated its willingness to help find a customer who would buy the property at not more than K7,000,000.
The Red Cross board resolved that the property be advertised but before a tender committee was put in place to carry out bids, the society received a letter of purchase for the property from Astro Holdings Limited at an offer price of K4, 700,000 on 5th January, 2012.
Red Cross was then purported to have entered into a contract of sale for the property through it agents, Kelvin Chiposwa and Charles Mushitu, at a contract price of K4,700,000 around or on 18th January, 2012 yet there was neither any written offer from Red Cross nor an acceptance from Bedrock Estates Limited for the purported contract.
Bedrock Estates Limited then started pursuing Red Cross to sign the purported contract of sale but the society refused to sign because it had never entered into any agreement with Bedrock and that it had never contracted the two agents with which the firm was dealing over the sale of the said property.
Unknown to Red Cross, Bedrock Estates Limited then changed the certificate of tittle to its name yet records at the Ministry of Lands still show that there was no assignment to the file and therefore the change of title was fraudulent.
Bedrock Estates Limited then started collecting rentals from the same property even before the completion of the assignment thereby rendering Red Cross incur losses. Red Cross is now demanding for the cancellation of the tittle and a refund of K550, 830.00 in rentals that were allegedly illegally collected.
“By reason of the matters aforementioned, the plaintiff (Red Cross) now claims the rescission of the purported contract of sale for duress, undue influence and or connivance with the two agents of the of Red Cross and the cancellation of certificate of title No. 181960 relating to subdivision A stand No. 2837 in Lusaka having been obtained fraudulently in the name of the 1st defendant.
The plaintiff also claims a refund of the sum of K550,830 collected in rentals on the property by 1st defendant’’.