Friday, 25 June 2021

INDUSTRIAL STRUCTURE : SIKHALA LOSES AT THE SUPREME COURT

CHITUNGWIZA Municipality has had the better of MDC Alliance vice chairperson Job Sikhala after it won its appeal against an Administrative Court decision authorising his construction of an illegal industrial structure.

Sikhala, who is also the legislator for Zengeza West, was constructing a structure without council approval opposite Chitungwiza Municipality’s headquarters in Zengeza 2.  

 The ruling comes after the municipality appealed to the Supreme Court challenging the lower court’s decision.

A three-judge panel comprising Justices Lavender Makoni, Samuel Kudya and Felistus Chatukuta on Tuesday overturned the lower court’s decision allowing Sikhala to continue with his project.

Lead judge, Justice Makoni, in her ruling said the matter be remitted back to the Administrative Court to determine the preliminary point which was argued by the parties and give a ruling.

The matter would thereafter proceed depending on the outcome of the preliminary point that was raised that the enforcement order cited the wrong party.  The appeal was allowed with no order as to the costs of suit.

The municipality had not sanctioned the project that Sikhala was carrying out in contravention of the Regional, Town and City Planning Act.

Construction of a building without adequate paperwork attested to the fact that Sikhala was acting unlawful.

For such development to pass the test, it needed to comply with adequate public safety measures and the blessing of the city fathers.

 Sikhala did not comply with the local authority regulations, forcing the council to act and stop him from proceeding with the illegal structure sometime last year.

Council then ordered him to immediately discontinue forthwith any development and construction works on the land concerned or any use of the land in question. 

The order came to effect on August 17 2020 unless Sikhala appealed against it. This did not go down well with Sikhala who approached the Administrative Court seeking a relief to continue with his illegal project.

Sikhala prevailed after the Administrative Court judge, Justice Herbert Mandeya ruled in his favour in October last year.

In his ruling last year, Justice Mandeya said the municipality council could not stop Sikhala from carrying out the construction of a people’s market in his constituency.

But that decision has been overturned by the Supreme Court. Herald

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