EIGHT families have been spending nights in the open in Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park after they were evicted from houses claimed by a resident houses on a court order.
Bailiffs from the Sheriff’s office ejected the families from their former homes last week to enforce an order issued by the Livingstone High Court.
This is in a case in which Wayne Michael Wright sued Moses Mukubonda, Mainza Muzungu, Catherine Siazibumbu, Muyunda Kabati, Edward Majani, Jackson Nadan, Bonwell Mwiya and Denning Kavwanda for writ of possession.
In his judgment, Livingstone High Court judge Ernest Mukulwamutiyo said the court had found that Mr Wright had proved his complaint against the defendants.
“I find that the plaintiff has made out his case against the defendants on a balance of probabilities,” he said.
Mr Justice Mukulwamutiyo said the judgment would therefore be in favour of Mr Wright.
“The defendants are to give vacant possession of the property in issue in the default are to be evicted,” he said.
The court also ordered that the defendants pay costs to Mr Wright, which will be taxed.
The order of eviction was issued to the Sheriff of Zambia dated October 22, 2015 this year.
The head of one of the affected families, Mainza Muzungu, who is also an employee of the Livingstone City Council said he was shocked to learn that he had been evicted from his home without notice.
“I was going for work around 06:00 hours when I suddenly received a phone call from my wife asking me to return home as the family had been evicted,” he said in an interview.
And an eyewitness of the eviction, a former tenant Nosiku Akalilwa, said it was around 06:00 hours on Thursday that a group of call boys and some police officers went to the premises to evict them.
Ms Akalilwa said she and her family have been spending nights in the open by the road side in the game park.
“We were told to leave as the houses had been sold to a company called Tricon, which is owned by Mr Wayne. But we have letters that were promising us that the houses would be ours,” she said.
And acting Livingstone commissioner Harriet Kawina said her office has been trying to make efforts to relocate the familes.
“We are worried as the place where they have been evicted on is an elephant corridor, but they are refusing to leave. As Government, we shall not relent but keep on trying to convince them to move,” she said.
By press time yesterday, only three families had agreed to freely relocate to other townships in the district.
And Livingstone city council public relations manager Emmanuel Sikanyika said it is unfortunate that some of the council employees and former employees have been caught up in the eviction.