The 1223 residents of Kampasa settlement have rejected claims by Galunia purporting that they were squatters on the land they had occupied for over forty years and have argued that they had acquired the rights to own the land by prescription.
They have claimed that they are the lawful owners of the land from which they were displaced after the June 30 events that left two of their colleagues dead and have objected attempts by the state to thwart their claims to the land.
In their affidavit in opposition of the summons for stay of proceedings, they said it was absurd that the Galunia could claim that they did not have the right to the land after 40 years.
But in his affidavit, Galunia told the court that the 1223 Kampasa residents did not have the same interest in the court process and therefore could not claim the land in question as a group.
Galunia claimed that he had title to the land and that the residents were squatters and could therefore not claim rights to the land.
Alfred Mphalo, representing the other Kampasa residents who have sued Galunia Farms Private Limited as the first defendant, the Attorney General as the second defendant and Chongwe District Council as the third defendant told the Lusaka High Court that they had been displaced from the piece of land they had occupied for many years.
The Kampasa residents told the court that their homes were demolished and burnt down and therefore it was not correct for the state and Galunia to argue that their interests were not the same.
The displaced residents told Justice Dominic Sichinga that they had a common plea and were seeking from the court the same relief.
They said that as a result of the events of June 30 which left two people dead, they were left homeless and destitute after the Zambia Police and agents of Galunia evicted and demolished their homes.
They argued that they had become persons with no fixed abode after they were displaced and had their houses demolished and burnt.
The Kampasa residents said they were indigenous Zambians with the right to own land by way of prescription.
“We reject the position that we are squatters. Instead we are Zambians with the right to own land by way of prescription. It is untrue, incorrect and a total fabrication that Galunia only became aware of the squatters in 2007 as the residents had been there from 1978 when Galunia bought Diamondale Farm,” the residents said in their affidavit.
They told Justice Sinchinga in chambers that they had acquired rights to own land by prescription because they had been residing on the land for over 40 years.