MORE than 25 companies and individuals have sued the Lusaka City Council (LCC) over its decision to expand Northmead market claiming the extension would put their lives and those of their customers at a security and health risk.
Vicana Enterprises Limited and 27 other have since asked the Lusaka High court to grant them an injunction restraining the LCC and its servants from continuing the construction and extension of the market.
They also want a declaration that the market extension is a danger to the public health and safety of the companies ’employees, customers and clientele.
The companies said the court should grant them another declaration that they are entitled to the continued use of the public road reserve as parking space for motor vehicles and walk way for customers to Northmead shopping area, the market and the general public.
They have charged in their statement of claim filed in the principal registry that they are companies incorporated under the provisions of the Companies Act and proprietors of Vicana shopping area of the Lusaka city and Lusaka province.
The companies stated that some of the companies were the beneficial owners of the Corner Mall in the Northmead shopping area while others were tenants and doing business at the mall.
They said that the fifth and 28th companies were tenants and business persons doing business from corner mall, Vicana mall and the heritage shopping mall of the Northmead shopping area..
The plaintiffs said that on October 1, 2012, LCC approved the extension of Northmead market and commenced the extension by the construction of an additional 45 shops outside the perimeter walls of the existing market.
They said that the extension of the market is located on the parking lot, road reserve and drainage system in front of their shops which piece of land has been used as public parking space and pedestrian walk space for over 20 years before this action.
The companies further said that the approval of the extension of the market was done without them being given prior notice of the intended extension or an opportunity to raise objections to the extension.
They said that because of the approval, they have been greatly disturbed in the enjoyment of their right of way, safety and health and would suffer loss if the construction is allowed to continue.
The companies further contended that the extension of the market would reduce the already scarce road access and parking space and their customers and other surrounding shops and the general public and would heavily strain the already limited drainage, water and sewerage line thereby posing a major risk to them.