Daniel Nemukuyu Senior Court Reporter—
The sale of non-existent residential stands and double allocation of land in Nyatsime backfired on Chitungwiza Municipality yesterday when the Sheriff of the High Court attached and removed at least seven top-of-the-range vehicles and cleared the local authority’s head office of all furniture. Chitungwiza sold stands to Metropolitan Bank in 2007 in Nyatsime. The bank later realised that the allocation was chaotic since some people had been allocated the same piece of land.
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Met Bank paid $1 027 000 for 63 000 square metres of land, but the stands were never properly allocated.
Chitungwiza repaid part of the money, leaving an outstanding $600 000.
Currently, Nyatsime is literally a war zone where people who genuinely paid for stands are being chased away by illegal settlers.
Despite having received millions of dollars from desperate home-seekers who were on its waiting list, Chitungwiza has taken an armchair approach to the dispute.
Met Bank successfully sued Chitungwiza Municipality for fraud.
The Sheriff of the High Court yesterday took away property worth thousands of dollars in a bid to recover $600 000 the local authority owes Metropolitan Bank.
Only four computers and a server in the revenue office were spared to allow the municipality to collect money from residents.
Seven vehicles belonging to directors, including a number of Toyota Fortuners, Prados and a Nissan Hardbody were removed from the council premises and driven to Revelation Auctions and KM Auctions.
Offices of the Town Clerk, Chamber Secretary, Finance Director and the Department of Health were the most affected.
They were left empty.
Business came to a halt as the Sheriff took almost everything.
The auction date is yet to be announced.
By midday, council operations had been crippled with most workers leaving for their respective homes.
In the housing department, official files could be seen lying on the floor after the Sheriff had taken away the filing cabinets.
Sources said the municipal traffic department officers had to hide Toyota Hilux tow away vehicles that are used to arrest motorists who misbehave on the roads.
A host of other property has since been attached but yet to be removed from council premises.
The attached property include fire tenders, a Land Rover Defender, front end loaders, Toyota Hilux D4D tow away vehicles, two Mitsubishi Lancer vehicles, A Hyundai, Ford Ranger truck and a Nissan Diesel (UD) truck.
Meanwhile, Harare City Council (HCC) has taken Chitungwiza Municipality to the High Court over an outstanding water bill amounting to $7,2 million.
The two local authorities entered an agreement in which HCC would supply treated water to Chitungwiza daily.
Chitungwiza would then sell the water to its residents.
In terms of the agreement, Chitungwiza would be billed for the water supplied monthly and it was expected to pay the bills religiously.
Chitungwiza allegedly breached the agreement resulting in HCC lawyers Honey & Blanckenberg instituting legal proceedings to recover the debt.
The cash-strapped municipality owes its workers millions of dollars and it has, over the years, failed to pay up.
Other individual labour suits are still pending in court.