Seven farmers have sued the Zambia army, Kabwe municipal council Kabwe District Commissioner Patrick Chishala, 3ZR brigade commander Brigadier general Martin Banda and the attorney General claiming over K965,000 for damage caused when a group of soldiers commanded by General Banda slashed the agricultural produce in their land.
According to the statement of claim filed by Alex Kashweka Kazima and six others in the Kabwe High Court Chishala and General Banda have been sued in their individual capacities for acting negligently when they worked together with the council and ordered soldiers to destroy the crops at the plaintiffs’ farm without any legal justification.
Kashweka and his colleagues obtained money from the Youth Empowerment Fund and embarked upon an agricultural project but Chishala and Banda last year stormed the farm which is located near Chindwin barracks and charged that the produce was not fit for human consumption as it was located near sewer ponds. The crops however passed science tests when they were taken to the University of Zambia lab.
Acting from influence of Chishala, General Banda then ordered soldiers to slash all the produce that was on the 10 hectares land without giving chance to the council public health department to test the produce.
The summons were filed on 7th December and served to all the respondents by 15th December but none of them have responded during the 21 days period stipulated. The plaintiff’s lawyers have disclosed to the Watchdog that they are considering to initially commence contempt proceedings against the defendants.