Zambia High Court to Hear a Commercial Farming and Displacement Case

press release

Lusaka--On Friday, the High Court in Zambia will hear evidence in Asa Lato and 30 Others v Davision Chibale and Others, a case challenging the allocation of the community's customary land to commercial farmers without the community's knowledge, consent or compensation.

"The time has come to end unlawful displacements of rural communities and the associated negative impacts in Zambia and throughout Southern Africa. The Lala customary law which guarantees women's land and property rights must be protected," stated Anneke Meerkotter, Litigation Director at the Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC), which is supporting the community.

What: Asa Lato and 30 Others v Davision Chibale and Others

Where: High Court of Zambia, Lusaka, Zambia

When: Friday, 31 August 2018

Brief background:

The dispute is between a community of subsistence and small-scale farmers who reside in Senior Chief Muchinda in the Serenje District of the Central Province of Zambia. The respondents include two commercial famers, Davision Chibale and Jeremy Badcock, as well as the Serenje District Council, the Attorney General, and the Commissioner of Lands.

The case challenges the allocation of the community's customary land to commercial farmers and its conversion to State land without the community's knowledge, consent or compensation. The community argues that the allocation and conversion did not follow mandatory legal procedures and that it amounted to a compulsory acquisition of their land in violation of their constitutional rights.

For more background on the case: http://www.southernafricalitigationcentre.org/2018/02/06/preventing-the-displacement-of-rural-women-from-their-customary-land/

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