Daniel Nemukuyu Senior Court Reporter
The family of the late musician Simon Chimbetu faces eviction from its Glen Norah house after it emerged that the property, which formed part of the estate and was allocated to all the artiste’s children a decade ago, was registered in another man’s name.
It is claimed that the late musician bought house number 4837 Glen Norah A from the late Mr Onismo Tazvitya Muzangaza for Z$7 000, which was fully paid for but the Chimbetu family does not have any papers to show.
Since 1984, the Chimbetus have been staying there as a family without any contestations until 2005 when the musician died. The property was included on the inventory of the late musician’s estate and it was listed on the first and final distribution account of the estate without any objections in 2005.
After the finalisation of the estate, the Chimbetus allowed Suluman’s young brother Tinotenda and other family members to stay at the house.
Some 10 years after the distribution of the late musician’s estate, the family of Mr Muzangaza (who is also now late) issued summons at the High Court seeking the eviction of the Chimbetu family from the property.
Since there are no papers to prove the transaction between the late artiste and the late Mr Muzangaza, the Muzangaza family is now claiming ownership of the same property. Although the Muzangaza family never stayed at the house since 1984, they argue that they are the real owners of the property they inherited from their late father. In the summons filed by Preston, Patience and Patricia Muzangaza, through their lawyers Muzangaza, Mandaza and Tomana Legal Practitioners, it is argued that the property belonged to their father.
The trio contends that following the death of their father, they now had equal ownership of the property and that the Chimbetus must be evicted.
“First, second and third plaintiffs are the joint and equal owners of the right, title, and interest in House Number 4837 Glen Norah A, Harare by virtue of a Memorandum of Agreement entered of Assignment executed between the plaintiffs and the City of Harare, whereby the plaintiffs acquired the rights as previously held by their father Onismo Tazvitya Muzangaza, who died at Harare on the 19th of March 2000,” their lawyers argued.
The Muzangaza family argued that the Chimbetu’s have no legal right to occupy the property in the absence of a lease agreement or any other official papers supporting their stay there.
They are seeking the eviction of the Chimbetus from the house and payment of a sum of $12 daily as rentals, to be calculated from October 2014 when the three initially demanded the eviction of the Chimbetu family from the house. The Chimbetu family, through its lawyer Mr Simudzirai Machingauta of Tavenhave and Machingauta, will lead evidence from the elders who witnessed the purchase of the property in 1984.
The witnesses will tell the court that Chimbetu threw a party upon acquisition of the property and neighbours, some who are still alive, attended.
They argue that the property belonged to Chimbetu family and that is why the late Mr Muzangaza never objected to their stay from 1984 to the time of his death in 2000.
Even after his death, the Muzangaza family never claimed the property for 15 years. No objections were raised with the Master of High Court where the estate was registered, the Chimbetu family argued.
The matter is yet to be set down for hearing at the High Court.