Paul Chitengi v Attorney General 2017

By Chilombo Songiso Trespass to Land Zambian case


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Paul Chitengi v Attorney General

2017/HP/1552 - Torts – Trespass to Land


The Ministry of Lands offered a farm to the plaintiff’s late father, Honourable Justice Peter Chitengi. He later died and the plaintiff acquired interest in the land which he later acquired ownership of. The plaintiff began farming activities on the land until Zambia Police officers without title invaded his farm and attempted to evict him. The defendants instructed the police officers to enter his farm without permission and destroyed his fence, cut down seedlings and crops and dug trenches. The plaintiff suffered mental anguish, loss and was deprived of his expected profits from his investment. He sued for damages.


Whether the defendants trespassed on the plaintiff’s land

Whether the plaintiff is entitled to the reliefs sought


The certificate of title proved that the plaintiff is the owner of his farm and has superior claim to it. Thus, the defendants are guilty of trespass as the plaintiff did not invite the defendants on his land. They neither had rights to excavate his crops from the fields nor to raze his perimeter fence. Their trespass is actionable per se. where a claim for general, special or exemplary damages is made, it must be proved at trial by evidence that the loss incurred was as a direct result of the defendant’s conduct or probable consequence of the defendant’s actions. The plaintiff in this case is awarded general, exemplary damages and damages for mental anguish and distress

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