Fidelis Munyoro Chief Court Reporter
The eight-year-long land dispute pitting Chitungwiza South legislator Cde Christopher Chigumba and a housing co-operative has been put to rest after the High Court upheld the businessman’s title to the land.
Cde Chigumba had approached the court seeking to block Zanoremba Housing Co-operative and eight members from interfering with his housing project in Unit L Extension, Chitungwiza. The businessman also wanted the cited co-operative members and Chitungwiza council stopped from allocating stands on the piece of land he claimed belonged to him.
The court heard testimony from the witnesses for Cde Chigumba on how the land in question was allocated to the businessman’s company, Chigumba Property Holdings, in 2004 and how he later ceded the land to Zanoremba Housing Company.
On the other hand, the cited eight members of Zanoremba Housing Co-operative led by Kalisto Masango claimed they were swindled by Cde Chigumba whom they had appointed patron of the housing project.
They further claimed that they did not know that Cde Chigumba intended to make the housing project his personal property.
After a careful analysis of evidence from both parties, Justice Owen Tagu found that the land in question was allocated to Cde Chigumba and his company and not to Zanoremba Housing Co-operative. The judge said Cde Chigumba and his company managed to prove that they are the rightful owners of the land and granted the final interdict against Zanoremba Housing Co-op and the eight.
“The respondents be and are hereby interdicted from interfering with applicants’ housing project situated at Unit L Extension Suburbs, Chitungwiza,” said Justice Tagu.
“The respondents be and are hereby interdicted from selling, advertising, disposing of or in any way encumbering any of the housing stands under Zanoremba Housing Company (Private) Limited housing project.
“The first applicant be and is hereby declared the sole, lawful and legitimate owner of rights, title and interest in Zanoremba Housing Project situate in Unit L Extension Suburbs, Seke, Chitungwiza.”
The court also barred Chitungwiza Council from transacting with any of the other eight respondents in the administration of Zanoremba Housing Project on the piece land.
Justice Tagu said if the final order was not given in the present case, Cde Chigumba would suffer irreparable harm because Masango and his team were parcelling out pieces of the land in question and refusing to pay to Cde Chigumba and his business. Cde Chigumba and Masango’s team had been to the courts several times trying to resolve the dispute without success. In the various court applications, Cde Chigumba emerged winner, but this did not put to rest the matter.
Mr John Koto of Koto and Company acted for Cde Chigumba, while Mr Albert Nyikadzino of Nyikadzino, Simango and Associates represented Zanoremba Housing Co-operative.