CHARLES MUSONDA writes
A TRANSPORT businessman has allegedly evicted his brothers from a family farm in Chisamba district on grounds that he obtained title for it without their knowledge after their father’s death.
In this case, Titus Mushayabanu, 59, proprietor of Red Bomber Travelers, reported his older brother Juwell Ngwazayi, 76, to the police for criminal trespass with intent to commit a felony, after which he was arrested for the subject offence.
The farm in question is 245 hectares in size and located in Chief Chamuka’s chiefdom.
When the matter came up for ruling before Chisamba Resident Magistrate Susan Magalashi on Monday, Ngwazayi was found with a case to answer and put on his defence.
He later told the court that he did not understand how he could be accused of criminal trespass for being at his late father’s farm number 9543.
He said the deceased Daniel Mushayabanu, also known as Mr. Ngwazayi, acquired the farm from then Chief Chamuka, who is equally deceased, in 1959 after the family migrated to Zambia from Zimbabwe in 1955.
“After the death of our father in 1979 and our mother in the 1980s, confusion started when Titus started fencing the farm on grounds that he wanted to protect his animals. When we asked him about the wire fence, he said he obtained title for the land but we never met as a family before he got the title deed.
“From there we went to the current Chief Chamuka on four occasions and he advised us to share the farm equally but Titus refused. I was surprised to be accused of trespassing at my late father’s farm where we have buried our parents, sister and children,” Ngwazayi said.
Another witness Samuel Ngwazayi, 56, said he never saw a surveyor who surveyed the farm before Mr, Mushayabanu obtained the title deed in his name without the family’s knowledge.
“I still refute that Titus has a title deed for the farm because it is not his place alone, it’s family land. I only came to know that he has title the day we were in court,” he said.
The second defence witness Phillip Ngwazayi, 65, said there is no way one person could claim sole ownership of the farm left behind by their deceased father.
The last witness Elijah Ngwazayi, 80, said Mr. Titus Mushayabanu was just a toddler when their father acquired the farm and that he has no right to claim its sole ownership. Judgment comes up on February 26, 2019.