Daniel Nemukuyu Senior Court Reporter
Prophetic Healing and Deliverance (PHD) Ministries led by Prophet Walter Magaya has admitted to unlawfully encroaching onto a neighbour’s property, popularly known as “Rocks Lodge”, next to its Waterfalls chapel in Harare.
The church has since offered to purchase the land to avoid eviction from part of No. 8 Prospect, Waterfalls.
The admission was made in a bid to seek an out of court settlement and to avoid eviction from Stand No. 8 Prospect, where PHD Ministries is carrying out construction work.
A fortnight ago PHD Ministries was sued at the High Court for encroaching onto the property, owned by Panabase Consultancy (Private) Limited, at No. 8 Prospect, Waterfalls.
This followed an unsuccessful attempt by PHD Ministries to purchase the two-hectare property for $235 000, a price rejected as too low by Panabase.
Despite a disagreement on the price, PHD “invaded” the property and allegedly destroyed some structures they found on the stand.
Panabase, through its director and Harare lawyer Mr Shingai Mutumbwa, considered PHD’s actions unlawful and as a way of trying to arm-twist the company into selling the property at an unreasonably lower price.
Panabase filed an urgent chamber application at the High Court seeking the eviction of the church, Prophet Magaya, employees and their guests from the property.
While the case was pending at the court, PHD Ministries’ lawyer, Mr Everson Chatambudza, engaged Panabase and sought an out of court settlement.
A deed of settlement was filed at the High Court and PHD Ministries admitted to wrongfully encroaching onto Panabase’s property.
“The parties hereby agree as follows:
“The first and second respondents (PHD and Prophet Magaya) have encroached onto the Rocks Lodge, specifically the hill/rock outcrop at the Caledon Avenue entrance as well as the reed pool immediately below the rock outcrop.
“The encroachment involves development of a water feature which integrates the rock outcrop and the reed pool.”
PHD said it was desirous to acquire the property and Panabase also agreed to enter negotiations which are expected to be complete within two months.
According to the deed of settlement, PHD will be paying rent to Panabase pending finalisation of the sale negotiations.
On November 2 2011, Panabase acquired a portion of Stand No. 8 of Prospect from the original owners, Crainleigh Park Club.
Panabase indicated in its papers that it carried out some developments including construction of a dwelling house, four semi-detached dwelling units, an entertainment area, gazebos, borehole, ablution blocks and many others.
PHD bought part of the stand that was vacant.
Sometime in December 2015, PHD offered to buy Panabase’s land but the parties failed to reach an agreement.
PHD later encroached onto Panabase’s land and occupied it without the consent of the owners resulting in the case spilling into the courts.