TENANTS who were evicted at Levy Business Park Mall in Lusaka have resumed operations after being granted a stay of the decision of their landlord, National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA).
Recently, NAPSA set bailiffs on about 16 shops for allegedly failing to meet their rental obligations.
The tenants included Fresh view Cinemas, Bombay lounge, Asian Hut, Steers and Wimpy restaurant among others.
A check by the Daily Nation yesterday, found business back to normal and tenants conducting their usual business.
In an interview, National Business and Tenants Association of Zambia (NABTAZ) Chairperson Joshua Mumpanshya confirmed the development, indicating that the tenants had been given back their shops.
Mr. Mumpanshya disclosed that this was after negotiations between NAPSA and the tenants, following the stay of execution of the order from the court.
“We got a stay from the court and NAPSA has obeyed it, so we have agreed and everybody is trading now. I am happy that the situation has normalised,” he said. Mr. Mumpanshya however, complained that the method of eviction used on tenants was unfair and described it as modern-day slavery.
He stated that NAPSA could have atleast sat down and compromised with the tenants, unlike evicting them from the shops at short notice.
“NAPSA handled this whole issue unfairly; they gave us a short notice and chased us from our shops. The best they could have done was to sit down with the tenants and resolve the issue amicably, what they did was extremely unacceptable,” Mr. Mumpanshya.
He noted that tenants running food shops had lost their stock as the Authority shut down electricity in the affected shops immediately after the eviction, making fresh foods in refrigerators go bad.
Mr. Mumpanshya further demanded that NAPSA should compensate all tenants who had lost their stock in the process.
“They had switched off electricity in our shops, most of us we own restaurants, so all the food stuff was rotten. People have lost a lot of stock and our Lawyers are already working on that to see how NAPSA can compensate us,” he said.
“In August 2014, we won the case against NAPSA because they didn’t register their new lease meaning that whatever it came with including the rentals and all the utility bills were void because of non-registration of the lease.