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Real estate firms in land dispute

Nyasha Dube 


THREE real estate firms have approached the High Court seeking an order that would suspend the sale of stands they claim were stolen by High Range Resources and Glorious Real Estates. 

In an application filed last week at the High Court, Andrean Investments, One Mzuri Estates and Ruwa Estates cited High Range Resources, Lands minister Anxious Masuka, Glorious Real Estates, Local Government minister July Moyo, the Attorney General, President Emmerson Mnangagwa, the Registrar of Deeds and Abel Muchabaya as the respondents.

According to the affidavit, Andrean managing director, Jeremy Joseph Brooke, Ruwa Estates was the registered owner of immovable property located in the District of Salisbury, Clovadael B of Galway Estate referred to as the Former Property.

In 1998, Ruwa Estates applied for a subdivision permit, dividing the Former Property into stands referred to as Lots 2-9 and the remainder of Clovadael B of Galway Estate.

A title deed for Lot 9 was issued to Andrean Investments whilst Lots 5, 6, 7 and the remainder of Clovadael was issued in favour of other entities.

Towards the end of 2015, One Mzuri Estates engaged in a sale with Andrean for Lot 9 for which they paid US$298 000.

“Towards the end of 2015, second applicant (One Mzuri) approached first applicant (Andrean) and signalled its interest in purchasing Lot 9.

“First applicant was not opposed to the transaction and second applicant engaged in the due diligence process and found everything to be in order.

“The search confirmed to the second applicant that the property was legitimate and there were no endorsements on the deed of Lot 9,” reads the application.

One Mzuri also deposited US$14 900 to the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) for Capital Gains Tax.

In 2016, the trio filed an application at the High Court after it was found that President Mnangagwa had reportedly acquired Lot 9 and endorsed the deed in June 2016 which was in disregard of the subdivision permit, deed of transfer and subsequent sale of the property to One Mzuri.

“However, in December 2016 while the second applicant was valuing its properties at the year-end audit it discovered that the deed to Lot 9 had been endorsed in June 2016.

“Having regard for the above, the applicants instituted proceedings in this court seeking declaratory relief which mainly sought to decide on the issue of ownership, to have the purported acquisition of Lot 9 by the sixth respondent (Mnangagwa) declared a nullity and order the seventh respondent (Registrar of Deeds) to cancel all endorsements on the deed.

“It is the existence of these proceedings dealing with the whole of Lot 9 which will have an impact on the status of the Former Property (including stands that the first respondent seeks to dispose of) that raises the issue of res litigiosa in this instance.”

The trio has filed a second application at the High Court in an attempt to stop the sale of the Former Property after they found that High Range and Glorious Real Estate were in the midst of a sale of a piece of land to Abel Muchabaya.

“The applicants have it on record that first respondent has signed an agreement of sale with eighth respondent (Muchabaya) and is on the verge of disposing a certain piece of land in the District of Goromonzi called Stand no 824 of Cloverdale B Portion of Galway Estate measuring 1 200 square metres, which forms a part of the Former Property.

“By virtue of the matters referred herein applicants now entertain a real fear that first and third respondents will continue to sell stands on the Former Property and possibly Lot 9 while it is subject to litigation, harming innocent third parties and burdening applicants and this Honourable Court with more applications in the same matter.”

The group is claiming that if urgent action to stop the sale of the stands is not taken they will suffer irreparable damage.

They are seeking an interdict restraining High Range Resources and Glorious Real Estate from claiming to be the owners of Clovadael Estates as well as barring the Registrar of Deeds from registering stands in the name of any third party.

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